Head Coach: Steve Davis
2002 Final Record: 14-1
Current N.C. State Alums: Sterling Hicks, James Martin
Current Wolfpack Targets: DT Brandon Daniel
Tiger Overview: The Florida Class 5-A Defending State Champions, the Pompano Beach Blanche Ely Tigers look to replace a magnificent group of seniors according to Head Coach Steve Davis.
"Last year's team was loaded with blue-chip players and we had some kids who started three years. They knew our system and knew how they needed to work to reach that level. They were all good kids, all qualfied, and they set the standard for this team. These guys have something to shoot for."
Coach Davis, who was guarterback at Ole Miss from 1987-1991,has seen his share of great Wide Receivers, and he thinks ex-Tiger Sterling Hicks is one of the best.
"Sterling's a super kid... I miss him alot. He's just a great kid, great athlete... he was a superstar."
Another Ely alum who's now in Raleigh is last year's pass-rushing specialist, James Martin.
"James was a speed rusher for us from the Defensive End position. He's about 6'2 220 pounds and the best pass rusher we've had since I've been here by far. He's very athletic and has alot of room to grow. I could see him being 250 or 260 and rushing the quarterback off the edge. His frame will allow him to put on weight and I think they'll use him to get to the quarterback."
This year's defensive star will likely be Defensive End Brandon Daniel, who played opposite Mr. Martin last season. The Wolfpack have offered and are on him hard already.
"He'll probably end up being a defensive tackle in college. He came on real strong at the end of the season. He had two sacks in the state championship and in the later rounds of the playoffs he really came on for us. He had off-season shoulder surgery but should be ready to play come two-a-days."
Last year's Ely team played one of the toughest schedules in the state on it's way to the championship. Who was the best player that Coach Davis faced? A guy N.C. State fans will probably see a lot of over the next few years.
"Actually, a kid that signed with your rivals, Larry Edwards from Wharton, a Running Back who signed with North Carolina. He played well on both sides of the ball against us and that's hard to do for four quarters but he did it. That kid's tough."
"To be honest with you, I didn't think so because there's so much influence on Miami down here so when they want kids from down here it's tough.
"Broadway was the guy recruiting them and Bunting came in and tried to take over after Broadway left. Bunting kind of seemed like somebody who has alot of pressure on them and he laid out the red carpet for them. He wanted the kids to go ahead and make a decision but those kids just were not ready for that. I think when Broadway got fired at the end of the season it kind of hurt their chances, but they got Edwards though who's a helluva a player."
The N.C. State coaches were able to snag one of those four in James Martin. The tandem of Chuck Amato and Doc Holliday have put N.C. State on the map in South Florida and as a duo they are a deadly combination.
"Now, they are tough, and once NC State starts going to BCS Bowls it will be even more impressive when they come down here. Right now they can probably get that second-level kid... that right up under Miami kid, but if they have a year like they are suppose to have this year and get to a BCS Bowl, they start plucking that one or two big-time kids out of here."
"Chuck's just laid back. He sits down, talks with all the guys on the staff, and is just very personable. We like him and Doc alot."
Doc Holliday, who mainly handles Ely High School for the Wolfpack, is one of Coach Davis's favorite recruiters because of his personality and work ethic.
"Two good ingredients for a recruiter, you need a good personality and you have to work your butt off. Doc gets along with everybody and just outworks guys. Some coaches are lazy, and just want to mooch off the university. But Doc will come in and say 'Coach give me your 04/05 kids...who you think will be good down the road.' Next thing you know letters will come from N.C. State for those kids."
Ely High School
Ely Head Coach Steve Davis
Defensive Tackle Brandon Daniel