There are plenty of reasons to expect a big season for Pasco RB David Emmanuel, No. 25 in the HomeTeam 100 (see Nos. 21-30 here).
2011 stats: 1,325 yards, 132 carries, 22 total touchdowns
The breakdown: As Pasco DL Joey Ivie saw recruiters on campus every day watching his every move, he wondered aloud why they weren’t looking at his team’s star running back, David Emmanuel. Eventually, colleges caught on, and the 6-foot, 180-pound senior landed offers from Rutgers and FAU.
Emmanuel has been one of the North Suncoast’s top performers since his freshman year and has ripped off two straight 1,000-yard seasons.
The Pirates have two reasons they should expect more from their bowling ball of a runner this season: depth on defense and holes on offense.
Emmanuel had to step in at linebacker at times last season and packed a punch on defense. But Pasco coach Tom McHugh said only one player — Janarion Grant — will likely start both ways this fall because of the team’s greater depth. That means Emmanuel should be able to focus his energy on offense.
And the Pirates have openings for explosive players. With star QB Jacob Guy gone and a speedy athlete, Jajuan Henry, expected to take Guy’s place, don’t be surprised if Pasco runs more this season. If Emmanuel gets more opportunities, he could respond as he did against Land O’Lakes last year — an 18-carry, 191-yard performance with a banged-up shoulder.