Analysis: Osceola staff sees upside in transfer OL Emmanuel

Osceola football analyst Mark Salva, recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein and publisher Jerry Kutz offer their thoughts on Charlotte graduate transfer D’Mitri Emmanuel, who announced his commitment to Florida State on Monday evening.

Jerry Kutz: When I opened the film and found No. 70, D’Mitiri Emmanuel, I was reminded of former FSU guard Patrick McNeil, who the Seminoles signed out of Bradenton Palmetto High School in 1991. Now, if Emmanuel is anywhere near as good as the two-time All-ACC lineman, then Mike Norvell and offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Alex Atkins have the depth and competition they have so sorely needed on the line.

Perhaps it’s Emmanuel’s height and weight, which look relatively similar. Or the physicality with which he played against Illinois and Middle Tennessee State, which is coached by former FSU quarterback Rick Stockstill.

I will leave the intricate details to our football analyst, Mark Salva, who played offensive line for FSU from 1984-87 and then coached FSU offensive linemen, including McNeil, through the 1993 national championship season before he then accepted the offensive line job at South Carolina.

A mainstay since 2019, when Atkins started him as a freshman, I see a veteran who knows what his assignment is and plays with confidence. Most of the film are pass plays, where you can see he understands combination blocking, passing rushers off to the center on one side or the tackle on the other. On one screen, he hit the bullseye on a defensive back to spring a big play. It takes better than average athleticism for a big dude to block a quick dude in space. On the running plays, you can also see him moving up the ladder, from the defensive lineman to the linebacker or safety.

Mark Salva: I really like his overall demeanor. His experience jumps out at me: His eyes and body were consistently in the right place. Covering the correct gap, eyes on second-level threat, reacting to linebacker runthrus.

He has a good feel and natural punch in pass protection. He times his pass pro punch exceptionally well with physical violent hands. He may be a little stiff but that may be because he is so strong in his hips. Jerry mentioned Pat McNeil and I think that’s what he sees. He sits in his hips well and it’s hard to get him out of it. Real strong hips. Decent feet, I saw two times where he was in the open field one-on-one with a defender on a screen and a draw and he kept his feet both times and blocked smaller, quicker athletes trying to juke him. Pretty good really.

The caveat here is that he wasn’t playing against real physical players. I think the step up in competition will be a challenge to him but his experience is a welcome addition. I could see him being an interior guy for us, adding depth at guard and center and challenging for significant playing time.

Charles Fishbein: He is a guard all the way. His size will force him inside at FSU. I don’t think he is athletic enough to handle pass rushers in the ACC. He looks like his technique is solid. He stays low and plays with good leverage. He does not get off balance. He seems to have pretty good strength.

The step up to the ACC is going to be an adjustment. I wonder if the kid can snap — he may end up at center. He should help provide depth at center and guard. He is not very athletic.