QB 1: Emanuel Jr. Eager to Provide More for Panthers
"I just want to provide more for my team," Emanuel said. "I want to go to State. That's my No. 1 goal."
If the Panthers, who certainly have the talent and experience for a deep postseason run, are to play into December, Emanuel will be a big reason why.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 1,418 yards and 19 touchdowns through eight games so far this season. He also rushed for 599 yards and eight more scores.
The son of former Rice star and NFL veteran receiver Bert Emanuel is coming into his own. During the offseason, Emanuel gained about five more pounds and added another inch. On the field, he expects to make better decisions, specifically in reading defenses, and take better care of the ball this year.
"I feel a lot more comfortable," Emanuel said. "I'm having a lot more fun. Just being me and playing football."
While dealing with a global pandemic last season was difficult, Emanuel made the most of it. For it, he said, he and his team are stronger.
"Last year, due to COVID and everything, there was no time to build chemistry or get to know all the coaches," Emanuel said. "The first few games were rough until we all started getting on the same page. It was just weird. We'd have a game and then a bye week. Then another game and a bye week. We just wanted to play. It was frustrating.
"But we learned to just focus on what we could control. Now that we've got that year under our belt, we know how the games will go and how the coaches and us react to every situation. There's a good feeling this year."
Emanuel is a three-star quarterback recruit who has offers from Army and Texas Southern. He said the worst part of the recruiting process has been trying to stay positive and patient. The best part is all the exciting moments talking to coaches.
"Just the vibe I get from coaches is important," Emanuel said of what he's looking for. "Whether or not there's a family feel. Knowing they've got my back on and off the field."
In the meantime, he's thrilled to work with a "group of guys who are cool with each other" at Ridge Point, while trying to best his four older siblings and god-brother, all of whom went Division I in either football, track or softball.
"I want to be better than them, you know?" Emanuel said. "They're constantly just working. They barely had childhoods, missing out on stuff. Just putting in the time and work into their sports and their game. Their work ethic is what I've learned from them."
This story appeared in the Inaugural VYPE Fort Bend ISD Fall Edition, which is now available to pick up at your local Fort Bend ISD High Schools.