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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Thursday, July 7, 2011

By Sammy Batten

Stallworth bringing pedigree, power to ECU O-line

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Vic Floyd knows a thing or two about evaluating college prospects. During a high school coaching career that's taken him from North Carolina to South Carolina and now Georgia, Floyd has helped develop more than 100 college football players.

One of Floyd's prized pupils during a three-year run as head coach at Dudley High School in Greensboro, NC, between 2001 and 2003 was DeMario Pressley. A defensive lineman, Pressley went on to become an All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer at N.C. State, an NFL draft pick and is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

Flash forward to 2011 and Floyd's latest line prospect at Brunswick High School in Brunswick, GA, Dominique Stallworth. In Stallworth, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman, Floyd sees an athlete comparable to Pressley.

“He's probably not quite the athlete that DeMario was, but he's a lot more aggressive,'' Floyd said. “He's probably stronger than DeMario right now, and DeMario is in the pros. This kid is strong and he's got a chance to be a good one.''

That's good news for East Carolina fans since Stallworth became the third member of the Pirates' recruiting Class of 2012 back on June 15. Stallworth chose ECU over an offer from Conference USA rival UAB, but Floyd believes more attention would have come the lineman's way if he hadn't committed so early.

“He would have gotten some SEC offers as he went on,'' Floyd said. “East Carolina offered him in May when they came through during spring recruiting. They had already watched film that I had mailed out to them. A lot of the larger schools wanted to see him in camp. If he had gone to South Carolina's camp, they would have offered him.

“But he took a trip up to East Carolina and just fell in love with it. Brunswick and Greenville are about the same size towns, so I think it had the feel of home.''

Stallworth said he was impressed by ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill and offensive line coach Brandon Jones during a visit to campus for a one-day camp in June. The trip came on the heels of a visit to Louisville, which was also aggressively recruiting Stallworth.

“I really liked how hard they work, and how they broke things down to me, especially the academics,'' Stallworth said. “Grades are a big thing to them, and for me, too.''

Floyd arrived at Brunswick just as Stallworth was transitioning from middle school to high school. Although he'd only just started playing organized football at the middle school level, Stallworth had natural assets and strong bloodlines that made him stand out.

Stallworth's cousin, Allen Bailey, played defensive line at Miami and was recently taken in the third round of the NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

“He (Stallworth) was one of those guys you could easily spot coming from the middle school,'' Floyd said. “He had these long arms — he's got a 7-foot-2 wing span — so he was long-armed and mighty large for a freshman.''

Stallworth played on the Brunswick junior varsity as a freshman before earning a starting job with the varsity as a sophomore. A key to Stallworth's rapid development, according to Floyd, was his work ethic in the weight room.

“He fell in love with the iron,'' Floyd said. “Gradually, over time, he just got better and better, and stronger and stronger, and became a really good football player.''

A great example of how Stallworth has “developed'' occurred last season in a game against Valdosta. Stallworth was matched up against Valdosta's 6-5, 240-pound defensive end, Jarquez Samuel, who had scholarship offers from Louisville, UAB and West Virginia among others.

“We were playing Valdosta in game four of the regular season,'' Floyd said. “I think it might have been a third-and-seven play. I promise you, Dominique just annihilated the guy. He drove him seven yards laterally and into the ground.

“That kind of epitomizes his ability. He has a tremendous upside. He's just starting to touch a little bit of his ability. A lot of times bigger kids develop later, and I see that happening with him.''

Stallworth has been used mainly at tackle during his career at Brunswick, but is expecting to play guard for the Pirates.

“They think I fit that (guard) mold in their offense,'' Stallworth said. “They showed me a lot of film of their offense right before camp. Their tempo was a little faster than what we do here, but it's essentially the same style of offense. I think it fits my strengths as an offensive linemen, which are my power and my footwork. It's an aggressive offense and I think it will be fun for me.''

Stallworth is the third player to make a verbal commitment to ECU, but he's the first out-of-state prospect to make a pledge to the Pirates.

E-mail Sammy Batten

Sammy Batten's Archives

07/14/2011 02:59:39 AM


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