He models his game after players like Javon Kearse and Warren Sapp, and there are few his age that can compare to his combination of size and athletic ability. So, is Greensboro Dudley's Demario Pressley as good as advertised? You bet he is. Even better.
At 6'3 ½", 292 lbs., Demario is an intimidating figure, but when you see how truly fast he is, then you know how scary he can be to opposing quarterbacks. According to Dudley head coach Vincent Floyd, Pressley runs a 4.8-40, and he's been clocked as fast as 4.3 in the shuttle.
"Quickness is his biggest asset," said coach Floyd, "and with defensive linemen, that's probably the most important thing. He's also very flexible. You don't find many 300-pounders that can do full splits, with 31-inch verticals, that can dunk a basketball with two hands, those kinds of things. I think he's blessed with a lot of God-given athletic ability."
And Demario knows how to use that ability. Toward the end of last season, Pressley dominated offensive linemen to the point that no one player could stop him and it would take two or three linemen just to hold him off.
"His work ethic is tremendous for his age," said coach Floyd. "He's got that extra energy you look for in a player, and I think those things make him kind of rare. Defensive linemen are at a premium, especially inside guys. You can always find 6-5 kids who can come off the ends with speed and turn out to be really good players athletically. But true inside guys are hard to find."
When Floyd coached the U.S. Army All-Star Game last year, he noticed only one lineman who was on the level of Demario, and that player was Moe Dampeer, the top defensive tackle prospect in the nation last year who signed with Oklahoma. Floyd noticed that they were both very similar athletically. "The big difference was that Demario was going hard every play and Mo would disappear on you sometimes," he said. "But otherwise, very similar type kids."
But probably the most amazing thing about Demario is his character. He's an outstanding student (already fully qualified) and one of the friendliest kids you'll ever meet. He even works part time at a nursing home.
The only thing he hasn't done yet is narrow down his choices for college. He hasn't taken any official visits, yet, and only a few unofficial visits. He mentions NC State as a possible destination, but at this point, he says he has no leaders.
"I really like the coaches at State," said Demario. "They work really hard to develop good relationships with their players. I also like their facilities."
Demario is well aware of State's need for defensive tackles and he says that the opportunity to play early will be a significant factor in his decision. With tackles Sheldon Lewin and Alan Holloway both exhausting their eligibility after this season, and only freshmen John McCargo and DeMarcus Tyler in the fold at his position, Pressley would easily find immediate playing time if he were to choose the Pack.
NC State fans are already dreaming of a future defensive line that would include Demario and current freshman sensation Mario Williams (a line that some have referred to as the "De-Mario Brothers"). But the Wolfpack faithful will have to wait, because Pressley's decision is still off in the distance. And regardless of where he may end up, Demario is sure to make an immediate impact.
"He's definitely the best lineman I've ever coached," said coach Floyd. "He's on track to have a great future."