Elite 8: DeMarcus Christmas | Manatee High DT

Elite 8: DeMarcus Christmas | Manatee High DT (Image 1)

For anyone trying to block DeMarcus Christmas, it doesn't feel like a holiday.

Christmas is the lone returning starter from a Manatee High defensive line that was considered one of the best in the country a year ago.

He wears the number 90, just like his favorite player, Ndamukong Suh. And like Suh, Christmas has size. But his 6-5, 280-pound frame isn't the only reason he's one of the top-rated defensive tackles in the state. “I've got speed,” said Christmas.

“He's very quick,” echoed Manatee coach Joe Kinaan. “And he's a relentless pass rusher.”

That's why schools from across the ACC and SEC offered Christmas the gift of a scholarship. But Christmas didn't hesitate to make his college choice. During his junior year, he committed to Florida State. “It's just like Manatee,” he said. “The only different is just hills. Everything else, the coaches, it's like family.”

But before college, next on Christmas' list is another state title. Manatee won it all his sophomore year but fell short last season. “I feel it coming,” he said. “We just got to put in our work to do what we got to do to put another ring on my finger.”

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