High School Football

Former Manatee High Star Demarcus Christmas drafted by the Seattle Seahawks

For the first time since 2013, a former Manatee High star was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.

The Seattle Seahawks selected Demarcus Christmas, who started on Florida State’s defensive line, with the 209th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee.

Christmas, a 6-4, 294-pound defensive tackle, was the first former Manatee High Hurricane to get selected in the NFL Draft since the Jacksonville Jaguars picked wide receiver Ace Sanders (South Carolina) in 2013.

“Christmas possesses above-average height with average bulk for the position. He flashes power as a bull rusher but is more disruptive than productive as a pass-rusher,” ESPN wrote in their draft evaluation. “He occasionally gets the QB off his spot by driving the interior OL backward. Christmas has a thick trunk and adequate power, but he is not a two-gap type. His takeoff quickness is average at best, but he has a good motor; if he has a chance to make the play, he’ll lay it all on the line. He has adequate toughness but is certainly not a glass-eater.”

Christmas started 38 of the 51 games he played in for the Seminoles, finishing with 105 tackles, 10.5 for a loss with 3.5 sacks, 13 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one blocked kick.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.