You don’t average over 22 yards per catch if you aren’t a special wide receiver, especially when you do it in one of the strongest high school football states in the nation. Daryl Stonum has become better known in many recruiting circles, but he will now only be looking at three schools before making his decision. For all three of these school’s coaches, there wouldn’t be anything sweeter than landing the Sugar Land, Texas wide receiver.
Most soon to be high school seniors have a busy summer before their senior year begins. Daryl Stonum is no different from other students his age; only his summer has been busy for a different reason.
Late in his junior year, the 6-2, 182-pound prospect felt it would be beneficial for him to figure out if he could graduate early and become an early entree to the school he chose. After speaking with some of his guidance counselors, Stonum found it was possible if he took some courses over the summer.
“It’s been a busy summer for me really,” Stonum said. “I’m trying to get some of these visits done and I’m in summer school trying to graduate early. I decided near the end of the school year that’s what I wanted to do.”
His time out of the classroom this summer has been rare and this has limited his ability to attend some of his schools of interest. He was able to fit in a visit to Michigan a few weeks ago.
“I’ve taken one visit to Michigan so far,” Stonum said. “It was fun. They showed me all around the campus. I stayed with the running back, Mike Hart. I just chilled with the teammates and enjoyed myself. My academics advisor showed me where all my classes would be. The players took me in like I was part of the team too. At times on my visit I forgot I was a recruit and I actually thought I was part of the team.”
His visit to Ann Arbor obviously helped the Wolverines in their recruitment of Stonum, however he claims it did not put them over the top. The Dulles High School prospect now has narrowed it down to three schools from which his decision will most likely come.
“I’m down to a top three of USC, Michigan, and Florida,” Stonum said.
Stonum spoke about the specifics he likes in each school.
Michigan- “They have a good quarterback in Ryan Mallet. Their coaching staff is good. The wide receivers coach has had a 1,000 yard receiver every year. He would have had one last year but Mario (Manningham) got injured. That shows they put out a lot of great receivers. I like the tradition of the Michigan/Ohio State game; it’s easily the biggest rivalry in the country.”
USC- “I haven’t been up there yet, but I know they have a good tradition and put out good receivers. I think I would be a good fit in their style of offense. Coach Carroll is recruiting me hard and they have one of the bets staffs in the country.”
Florida- “They just won a national championship. I know they will have a good, strong team this year too. I think the SEC is the best conference in the nation. Tim Tebow is up there and they have a lot of receivers graduating so I have a chance to play early. They have a good coaching staff too. Coach Gonzales is a good receivers coach. Coach Meyer and Coach Mullen too; everyone there seems cool.”
You can tell how badly a school wants a certain prospect by how much the position coach gets involved in his recruiting. Right now, with Coach Dan Mullen as his area recruiter, his possible position coach, Billy Gonzales, has gotten into the mix as well.
“It’s cool,” Stonum said. “I talk to Coach Mullen and Coach Gonzales quite a bit through texts. Whenever Coach Meyer gets his one call a month we talk on the phone.”
Stonum has said since the beginning that he wants his final decision made by the time his senior season starts. He now says that it is coming along sooner than he expected, as he will be announcing his decision this Sunday night.
With the decision to be made soon, Stonum possesses a list of characteristics he hopes that his final school will maintain. The feeling of home will be very important, with his final three schools in three separate regions from his hometown in Texas.
“I want a place with a home environment,” Stonum said. “All three of them are far away from home, so obviously distance doesn’t matter to me. I just want it to be like home. I want to feel welcome and part of a family. I don’t want to feel like I’m all alone.”