There might not be someone as underrated as David Emmanuel.
How many senior running backs have 40 total touchdowns and 2,371 rushing yards during the past two seasons and have just two Division I offers from college football programs?
"Every single college coach that walks through here I ask, 'Why doesn't David have more (offers)?'" McHugh said, shrugging his shoulders to a question he's been asked more than a dozen times. "I don't know why. … Rutgers and FAU have been smart enough to offer him. He will be one of the next (great college football players), and if he's not, then someone at the next level is screwing up."
Watch Emmanuel, a powerful 6-foot, 180-pound runner, during games, even at practice and this is head scratcher. Certainly someone as talented as Emmanuel should have recruiters watching his every move.
"There's still more to come," Emmanuel said. "I still have a senior season. I'm not too worried about that because I'm looking forward to playing my last year at Pasco."
Emmanuel will be the feature back in a backfield transitioning to a spread offense, so he'll expected to be the Pirates workhorse. Perhaps that will help convince more college coaches.
"If the kid was in Hillsborough County, I think he'd have more, but we're in Dade City," McHugh said. "He's a leader, but he's not Phosphorus (a Greek name, meaning light bringer). You barely ever hear him talk. I think I had to always ask him open-ended questions to get him to talk more."
Despite that, Emmanuel doesn't feel underrated on his team. In fact, he's not concerned with that, just leading the way for a team looking to extend its 28-regular-season-game winning streak and make another deep postseason run.
"We have a lot of seniors on our team that can step up and be the guy that leads the team," Emmanuel said. "Sometimes, I can just play and that will lead the way, which works for us. Sometimes, I'm vocal, other times I'm not, but I'll always be there for the guys."