This week’s edition of Friday Night Lights features an interview with 4-Star quarterback Nico Pierre who attends Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida. Coral Reef is coming off a 12-10 upset loss to Southridge in a game that saw Pierre complete an 89 yard touchdown pass in the 1st half followed by two interceptions in the 2nd half. Coral Reef hurt their cause with multiple penalties.
Blue Devil Nation: South Florida is a talent filled area for high school football. Could you discuss the level of competition you face on a weekly basis playing in Miami?
Nico Pierre: Well me and many other Miami football players would think this is where the best football is played. Week to week you have to come with your A because no one going to give the win.
BDN: What individual strengths or skill sets do you possess, which give you an advantage on the football field?
NP: My size is one of the biggest advantages I have on the field. I am bigger than most d-line and linebackers which gives me the edge to break away from an arm tackle. But my arm strength is what really helps me the most because I am able to make throws that other high school QB cannot make at this level.
BDN: Thaddeus Lewis, a Duke quarterback from Miami, who played under Coach Cutcliffe for two seasons, is currently starting for the Buffalo Bills, and both Peyton and Eli Manning are Coach Cutcliffe protege. What are your thoughts on going to play for a coach who has three previous quarterbacks currently starting in the NFL?
NP: I am very excited to be coached by him and Coach Roper because of their background it shows that they really know what they are doing at the quarterback position.
BDN: Returning to the quarterback skill sets topic, do you have a preference on working out of the shotgun versus operating from under the center? Why?
NP: I am comfortable at both, but I like being in gun more because I get to see the field more and also use my legs as a threat to keep the defense on its toes.
BDN: Are you equally comfortable passing out of the pocket and rolling out, or do you prefer one over the other? Why?
NP: I’m equally comfortable at both where in the pocket I can rip the defense apart. As for rolling out I can do the same but it would limit me to one side of the field.
BDN: Have you always been a quarterback or do you have previous experience playing receiver or running back? Coach Cutcliffe likes to occasionally run formations that include two quarterbacks on the field simultaneously. What are your thoughts on that strategy?
NP: I never thought of playing another position but being a dual threat QB causes me to use my legs like a running back at times.
BDN: Looking at the transition from high school to the college game, what individual skills do you think you need to work on most? Which area will be the toughest adjustment: speed of the game? level of competition? complexity of the play book?
NP: The speed of the game but most importantly reading defense and watching film to understand what they are trying to do.
BDN: Talking specifics on your senior season of high school, what are your personal and team goals for the season?
NP: Becoming district camps and then moving on to state camps.
BDN: Final question, outside of football, what are your interests and hobbies. Can you tell Blue Devil Nation readers a little bit about Nico Pierre the person?
NP: Outside of football, I’m mainly working on my game, in the film room and on my footwork, but other than that I am making sure my grades are where they need to be. But most of the time I am working out.
BDN: Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview.
On to the rest of the action:
Undefeated Dudley was dominant in the 2nd half of their game at Southern Alamance rolling to a 44-20 win. Johnathan Lloyd threw for 279 yards and a touchdown completing 24 of 36 attempts in a losing effort.
Shaun Wilson rushed for 265 yards and three touchdowns as West Mecklenburg defeated Olympic 41-8. Wilson scored on runs of 30, 8 and 78 yards. West Mecklenburg improves to 7-1 on the season and squares off against Charlotte Catholic next Friday night.
Alonzo Saxton returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown as Bishop Hartley routed Ironton 54-0. Hartley improves to 7-1 on the season.
University (Chris Taylor) improved to 7-0 with a 48-13 win over Glades Central.
West Forsyth defeated Davie County (Trip McNeill) 15-10. Davie falls to 2-6 on the season.
Hart (Davis Koppenhaver) defeated Golden Valley 61-13 to improve to 7-0 on the season.
Sycamore (Tinashe Bere) defeated Fairfield 50-14 to improve to 5-3 on the season.
St. Paul’s (Zavier Carmichael)defeated Vigor 28-12 to improve to 6-2 on the season.
Easley, with Duke’s most recent verbal commit DT Quaven Ferguson, defeated Woodmont 17-7 to even their record at 4-4 on the season.