“He’s a big, physical kid,” Marvin Ridge head coach Brad Hoover said. “… He has good feet. He’s still raw in a lot of attributes as a lineman, but I think there’s a lot of upside and potential there. He’s a good character kid that you aren’t going to have problems with and he’s going to work hard. He has a good punch.
“For me, I don’t want him to get too much bigger – I want him to get leaner [and] more in-shape. Even though right now he’s a good ball player, I think he could be a dominating ball player at the college level if he just hones his skills.”
Unlike most recruits in N.C., Emmanuel grew up playing rugby. That’s because Emmanuel was born in England. He moved to the U.S. in the seventh grade and immediately took to football and the defensive line.
“There’s really not much [American Football] in England,” Emmanuel said. “The main sport is rugby. But rugby is pretty similar, so it wasn’t hard for me to get used to American Football because I was used to the hitting.”
Emmanuel became a freshman starter at right tackle for Marvin Ridge. He continued to start at right tackle into his sophomore year, but Hoover plans to move him to left tackle for his junior and senior seasons.
About a month ago, North Carolina assistant coach Gunter Brewer came across Emmanuel’s sophomore film.
“Coach Brewer recruits this area and he’s a great guy,” Hoover said. “He’s unbelievable for North Carolina. They’re lucky to have him, because he’s awesome.”
The film prompted Brewer to invite Emmanuel to the UNC-Georgia Tech game. Emmanuel immediately accepted.
“I viewed the stadium and the facilities and all that kind of stuff,” Emmanuel said.
After the brief tour, Emmanuel met Chris Kapilovic, UNC’s offensive line coach, and was escorted into Larry Fedora’s office.
“I talked to [Fedora] about the school and then he said that I had an offer from the University of North Carolina,” Emmanuel said. “I wasn’t really expecting it. I was kind of surprised and taken back. But I was with there with my dad and we were both pretty excited and pretty happy about it.
“It’s a pretty good school, so already they’re pretty high on my list. I like the school – it’s pretty nice. And I like the coaches and the whole area around the school.”
With that said, UNC is one-third of Emmanuel’s top three schools. Clemson and South Carolina – both of which he camped at over the summer – complete the trio.
Besides Clemson and South Carolina, Emmanuel has also camped at Duke.
Outside of UNC, Clemson and Old Dominion have shown Emmanuel the most interest, but both have yet to offer.
Emmanuel plans to return to Clemson for its regular season grudge match with South Carolina on Nov. 28. He also hopes to attend an Old Dominion game before the end of the season.
Although he plays offensive tackle for Marvin Ridge, Hoover sees Emmanuel as a “natural” guard on the collegiate level because of his size and “the way he moves.”
“He definitely could play tackle on the next level, if needed,” Hoover said. “But on the next level, I think he’s more of a natural guard.”
Emmanuel said his preference is to play guard in college.
Emmanuel is also a member of Marvin Ridge’s track-and-field team, partaking in shot put… Before becoming a coach, Hoover played ten seasons for the Carolina Panthers at fullback.
2017 Intro: Dmitri Emmanuel
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