Dulles High Coach Jim Creech has gotten to be on a first name basis with a number of college recruiters in recent years. His top two senior prospects from last season, Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron, were recruited by some of the top programs in the country before they eventually signed with Michigan. Those same recruiters have returned this year to recruit a youngster that is even more talented; 6-2, 180-lb. wideout Darryl Stonum.
"Fred (Jackson) was in here last week about Darryl," Creech said regarding the Wolverines running backs coach and Lone Star state recruiter. "Michigan offered him. So has Oklahoma State, Florida, Kansas State, Texas Tech, New Mexico State, Kansas, and Baylor. It's just now really sort of starting for him, but he has already been more heavily recruited than the other two."
After speaking with Coach Creech for just a few moments, the reason that college scouts are salivating over his junior wideout becomes increasingly clear.
"It seems like every time he touches the ball it's a highlight reel," said Creech. "He had 53 catches for 1200 yards and some change, 18 touchdowns, including three touchdowns on punt returns. He is a tremendous tremendous athlete and everyone that sees him on film wants him. He is pretty special. It only takes a few plays on this highlight tape to see that. He is a no-brainer.
Stonum's on-field exploits have elicited comparisons to one of college football's most renowned big play threats in recent years. It's a comparison that he finds especially apt due of his love for special teams.
"I get compared to Ted Ginn ALL of the time," Stonum said. "That's because my favorite thing to do in football is returning punts."
With talents like that, most probably assume that it will be nearly impossible to pluck Stonum out of the confines of Texas. However, he contends that that is the furthest thing from the truth.
"Nah, I'm not really a lock for Texas or to stay in the state," he explained. "I didn't grow up a fan of any particular school. I don't have a favorite right now. If I have to name a top three it would be Michigan Texas Tech, and Texas. Distance is not going to be a factor. I'll go anywhere. The main thing is I want to play my freshman year. I don't want to redshirt."
That criteria is probably music to the ears of those in Maize & Blue country. Both Woolfolk & Herron have already made it a point to let their young teammate know that he can find everything he wants in a college experience by following them to Ann Arbor.
"They want me to come to Michigan with them," Stonum said laughing. "Having them there makes (Michigan) more appealing. Plus, I know they just signed Ryan Mallett, so they've got him up there too. Manningham might be leaving after this year so it would be a freshman receiving corps. Then I'd really have a chance to do something my freshman year."
If Manningham were to leave after his junior campaign, the Wolverines would be losing their most accomplished deep threat. According to Stonum, that's an element that he could immediately inject back into the fold.
"I clocked at a 4.38 at the TCU camp, but I clocked at a 4.4 at my school," he said. "That was because I had a bad ankle. I run track all year. My fastest time in the 100 is 10.9. My fastest 200 is a 21.3."
The topic of speed undoubtedly comes up when in the presence of Woolfolk. The future Wolverine has already established himself as one of the top high school sprinters in the country. Stonum concedes that his senior counterpart might get the best of him when on the track, but insists that things would be different on the football field.
"Troy would get me in the 100, but it would be close in the 200," admitted Stonum. "But on the football field I'd win most of them. I'll put it like this; if Troy can jam me then he has a chance. If he doesn't jam me, he's gone. I'd beat him every time."
With the track season now in full swing, Stonum is dedicating most of his attention to that and to academics. In the coming weeks, though, he will begin to focus more and more on his recruitment. He will have to if he plans to adhere to his timetable for making his college choice.
"I'm going to Texas this weekend for a junior day and I'm going to go to Michigan sometime during the summer," he said. "I don't know where else I'll go or when right now, but I'm thinking about it. I want to make my decision before the season starts. I pretty sure I'll decide before the season and commit."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Stonum in the months to come.