DL Prospect Stafford Off To Strong Start

LaGrange standout D.J. Stafford talks recruiting and the start of the 2006 season.

LaGrange, Ga.--In a town and high school known for producing talented football players, big D.J. Stafford may go down as one of the best ever before he's done playing for the Grangers. At 6-3, 265 with blazing speed and a knack for getting to the quarterback, Stafford is the latest in a long line of players from LaGrange High to receive attention from major colleges.

"I'm hearing from just about everybody in the SEC and have offers from all of them," Stafford tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Things are going pretty good. My favorites at the moment are Auburn, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and LSU."

A high school teammate and good friend of Auburn redshirt freshman Tray Blackmon, Stafford has been looking hard at the Tigers since Blackmon decided to join Tommy Tuberville's club. He says that there is a lot to like about Auburn's program at the moment and that was evident in Saturday's win over LSU.

"I just like their style of defense," Stafford says. "Everybody has pretty good speed and everybody runs to the ball and hits. They are kind of like our defense and what we run."

Scheduled to visit for the game, Stafford couldn't make it but says he plans to check out Auburn in action before the season is done. When he does he'll get a chance to visit with Blackmon. That will be big for him and he says is one of the things Auburn has going.

"It's a big plus for Auburn," Stafford says. "I think that would help me a lot (if he chooses Auburn). I would have somebody that knows the system to help me out."

Playing end this season for the Grangers, Stafford has been a one-man wrecking crew this season as his team is off to a 2-0 start. Despite being the focus of everyone's offense he has five sacks in two games. Reporting a personal-best 40-yard dash time of 4.53 seconds, it's no surprise that Stafford says speed is the strength of his game.

"I think I'm a good pass rusher," Stafford says. "That has kind of always been there for me but I've worked on it to get better and better."

Part of a LaGrange program that has sent dozens of players to Division I schools over the years, Stafford says that being able to watch and learn from players such as Sam Olajubutu, Wesley Woodyard and others has helped shape him into the player he is today.

"It has helped me a lot," Stafford says. "I have played with a lot of guys who went on. Braxton Kelley helped me a lot. He played end back in 2004 when I started my sophomore year. He helped me a lot and I learned a lot of things from him. We have a great coaching staff also."


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