After a week of orientation, including a trip to Camp War Eagle with hundreds of other incoming freshmen, a coach who knows Stallworth well predicts that the high school quarterback will develop into a good player at Auburn.
"He is going to be a great one," Terrence Williams says. "He is an electricfying player. Travante can do something special things when he has the football in his hands. It has been pleasure coaching him for the past two years."
Stallworth worked out last June at an Auburn football camp playing wide receiver. He impressed the former staff so much he was offered a scholarship and decided to be a Tiger soon after that. However, Stallworth's last two years in high school he didn't get to display his wide receiver skills on Friday nights.
Williams notes that his team needed Stallworth's athletic ability at quarterback for Leesville High School where he completed 92-150 passes for 1,339 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall. He also rushed for 546 yards and 15 touchdowns on 130 carries while earning All-State honors.
Commenting on what he sees as Stallworth's potential at Auburn, the coach says, "Oh, man, he can be one of those Sklyer Green type of guys--a hybrid guy who can do a lot of things. He can return punts, he can return kickoffs, he can play slot receiver, he can play outside receiver and he can line up at quarterback and run the wildcat formation."
Colleges like Michigan tried to convince Stallworth to sign as a quarterback, but after reconsidering his options after the coaching change at Auburn he re-committed to the Tigers and new head coach Gene Chizik on January 25th.
Williams spent two seasons as head coach at Leesville High School and is taking on a new challenge this year as head man of Donaldsonville, La., High. He recalls that when he first took over as head coach of Stallworth's team one of the first things he did was study video of the previous season. He immediately noticed the future Auburn player's athleticism.
"On that he caught a little hitch, faked, the first two guys missed and he gets tackled 20 yards downfield. I said, ‘This is the guy I want to play quarterback.'"
With Auburn signing three players specifically to play quarterback, Stallworth's days as a quarterback are likely finished unless new Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn uses him in the "wildcat" formation, which could happen. "That is something that Coach Malzahn and I talked about," the Auburn freshman says. "He says he thought I would be a good fit for his offense. He actually started recruiting me when he was still at Tulsa so I am very familiar with him and his system. I really like the offense."
Coleman says that fans at Leesville High will miss Stallworth this fall and predicts the incoming freshman will earn respect at Auburn because of what he can do on the football field and the type of person he is off the field. "You get nothing but ‘yes sir, not sir' from," says the coach, who adds, "He's always trying to find someway to get better."