Junior to watch: DeMario Pressley
School: Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley
Position: Defensive tackle
Size and speed: Pressley is 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, but according to his high school coach, “he looks more like he’s 265 (pounds)”.
Honors: Pressley could be the early choice as the state’s top prospect.
Statistics: Bench press of 355 pounds and a pro-agility shuttle of 4.5 seconds. Made 97 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior.
Academics: Although no specific grades were discussed, his high school coach says Pressley has already qualified academically for college.
Favorite schools: Pressley was not interviewed for this article, but he has scholarship offers from every in-state school, as well as Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.
The Skinny: Who is the state of North Carolina’s top prospect for the class of 2004?
According to Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley coach Victor Floyd, he thinks it’s his star pupil DeMario Pressley, who is a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle.
“DeMario is an absolute terror on the field,” Floyd said. “No two guys can block him.”
“Sure, he’s nice off the field, but he has a nasty, take-no-prisoners attitude on the field.”
Floyd says Pressley has several other strongpoints, but one thing in particular stands out about him.
“His main strength is his quickness,” Floyd said of Pressley, who is the odds-on favorite to win the state title in the shot put in the next month.
“He explodes off of the ball. And he has exceptional strength and instincts.”
“He can totally dominate a game.”
Not surprisingly, college coaches are hoping they can lure Pressley to their campus for camps and unofficial visits. But Floyd says Pressley has yet to decide on any camp in particular.
However, Floyd says Pressley, who has two high school teammates – Jamaal Davis and Martel Thatch – that are also being heavily recruited, has talked about possibly attending the Notre Dame camp later this summer. But even that thought is still up in the air.
All three of the Dudley High players are expected to attend a couple of one-day camps together.
Even with all of the attention that Pressley is receiving, Floyd says it’s the off-the-field actions that make his star player even more valuable to the team that will sign him in February.
“DeMario is just a tremendous kid,” Floyd said. “He is very pleasant and very respectful.”
“He has never been in any trouble, never even written up for talking in class. He’s a quiet leader who leads by example.”
If Floyd is correct, then Pressley may also lead the state of North Carolina this season, possibly as the state’s top prospect overall.