With the high school football postseason in full swing, many teams are seeing their 2004 campaigns come to a close. This means that a lot of top talent in the state of Kansas is suddenly finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands. Some of the best players in the state are using this newfound spare time to finally sit down and think through one of the most important decisions of their lives: where to continue their football careers.
One sunflower stud who won’t have to make any T-charts or do any soul searching is Washington High’s Darrell Stuckey. The 6-1 180 DB/WR picked Kansas over the summer and has since enjoyed his final high school season without having to worry about where his next season would be spent.
While Washington High didn’t make the state playoffs, it was a successful final year for Stuckey’s team as they finished with a 7-2 record.
The two-star talent, who was recruited to potentially play on either side of the football, enjoyed an impressive senior year. As a defensive back, Stuckey registered 56 total tackles, including 33 solo stops. He also collected two fumble recoveries, forced four fumbles, grabbed eight interceptions and returned two of those eight picks for touchdowns.
As a receiver on offense Stuckey posted 17 catches for 432 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned 13 punts for 236 yards. Being a standout in every phase of the game has been quite a thrill for the senior, especially because one of his favorite Jayhawks plays a similar role.
“Charles Gordon has amazed me a lot this season,” said Stuckey, who has been to every Kansas home game. “He’s a great player. The way he carries himself on the field and different things he does with his athletic ability are just amazing. I’m surprised teams throw to his side as much as they do.”
Stuckey plans to attend Saturday’s home finale and likes KU’s chances despite all the tough breaks the ‘Hawks have been dealt lately.
“Their chances are very good, but they’ve got a lot of adversity to overcome,” Stuckey admitted. “To lose two quarterbacks and have a couple of guys on defense get hurt too, that’s a lot of adversity. Things may have gone wrong recently, but things are only going to get better from here.”
In order for that to happen, Stuckey thinks his future teammates on defense will have to continue their stellar play.
“The defense has impressed me a lot,” said Stuckey. “You can really tell the difference from last year to this year. They’re pretty deep and things are going really good. A lot of people are subbing in and out and things are still going well no matter who is in.”
The Kansas offense has also caught Stuckey’s eye.
“Seeing how the offense plays through different adversity has also impressed me.
Just to watch different quarterbacks stepping in and making plays (has been impressive).”
Stuckey hopes to be impressed one more time on Saturday and this time he’d love to see his future teammates pull out a win. After attending Saturday’s game as a fan, the Jayhawk-to-be plans to make at least one more trip to Lawrence before signing with KU later in the winter.
ROYALTY UPDATE: While Scout.com doesn’t usually follow off-the-field accolades as closely as gameday success, Stuckey’s story away from the gridiron warrants an update. The last time we talked to Stuckey it was on the eve of Washington High’s homecoming ceremonies and Stuckey was a strong candidate for King honors. For those who care, Stuckey finished a few votes shy of being King.
“They made me first runner up, maybe they were saving me for prom or something,” Stuckey joked. “It’s just homecoming king anyways.”