An Interview With Stanley Doughty

Russ Perry and Jeremy Gallo teamed-up to give us one of the most exciting interviews of a future Gamecock that you will ever read. We can hear the fans in the stands now chanting, "DUCK-EEEEEE, DUCK-EEEEEEE!!!!!!" ...

Stanley Doughty Bio: (6-2 320) Bench Press 435, Squat 700, Verticle Leap 34", 4.8 Forty

Note: Stanley's last name is pronounced (Doh-tee).

Stanley, to begin with, tell us what you do best on the football field in your opinion.

"Really I can do it all. I love stuffing the run. I love pass rushing - getting to the quarterback. And I pursue well sideline to sideline."

Okay now let's go ahead and get this out of the way. How are the grades coming along? The last we heard you were cutting it close but we imagine there has been some news in the past couple of weeks? Was it good news?

"Yes sir. I am now fully qualified and eligible. I've got all my core requirements taken care of and I made a 17 on my ACT so I am done with all of that thankfully. All I need to do now is enroll."

That's great news Stanley! Okay let's talk about your impression of USC - your visit and things like that.

"It is a nice campus. Everyone got along with each other really well. I'll tell you, you just gotta love the fans up there. I have heard a lot of great things about the football stadium and how it is packed every weekend. But what really impressed me was when I came up for my visit during the basketball game against Florida. The fans were great at that basketball game so I can only imagine what they must be like when they are packed into the football stadium."

What were your impressions of Coach Holtz?

"Coach Holtz told me grades are first. He doesn't care about anything else but I had better make good grades even if it took two tutors per subject. And he said Study Hall is a requirement not an option. And he said to always remember that my teammates are my family and to never let them down, never give up on any of them and as long as I do that they will always be there for me, they'll never let me down and they will never give up on me."

"Here's the thing about him. He's nice, he's real nice. It was an honor really ... to meet Coach Holtz. We sat in his office and talked. He was saying they were going to run a 4-3 defense this year instead of the 3-5. He told me if I took care of business and kept my attitude good that I was the kind of player that could come in and play right away. He meant it too. He said no matter if I am a freshman or not, if I take care of business and was good enough to play I will come in and play right away."

Are you good enough to play as a true freshmen?

"Yes sir. Definitely. I intend to play right away. I am that good."

Who else offered you?

"LSU was the main one. No one takes players out of this state. Everyone in this state goes to LSU. But there was Memphis, Southern Miss, La Tech, there were a whole lot more but I can't remember them all right off the top of my head. The other schools, those smaller schools, they figured they didn't have anything to lose because no one thought I was going to qualify. All of the other big schools that were after me early thought they had no chance, because if I did qualify everyone in this state always goes to LSU. Honestly, I grew up a big big LSU fan and I was always going to go there - but that's another story."

Well then ... we've got time. Tell us the story.

"This is how it worked. At the time when a lot of schools were looking at me I wasn't really eligible, so I had to buckle down and concentrate on my books. But at the time LSU was on me real hard even then. But I hadn't qualified so LSU backed off of me. South Carolina never gave up on me. They stayed with me and kept encouraging me through it all. They told me if I kept working on it I could do it. They believed in me. They gave me hope. So when I finally did qualify everybody, and I mean everybody, started calling and knocking at my door again. But I told them all, 'Hey, South Carolina is the only one that had faith in me and never deserted me when the times were hard. So I am going to South Carolina.'"

We hear you caught some flack for finally choosing South Carolina. That doesn't happen much down there does it?

"It didn't matter. Let me tell you something. It didn't matter how mad everyone around here got at me I decided I was going to be a Gamecock. I had been to camp at LSU for four years and for four years they always told me they wanted me as their defensive tackle. I was like, hey, my heart is all with South Carolina now. I mean I loved the Gamecocks by then. The LSU coach and people around here and at school kept coming in and trying to tell me it wasn't right for me to leave the state. People said things like, 'Stanley, you can't leave this state! This is where your friends and family are. How is it that you think you want to leave here and then we have to play you on another team? That's not right, you going away to another state ... and then we are going to have to face you down the road?' "

And what did you tell people and other coaches when they told you that?

"I said it like this. I said Sir, Coach, it's your fault. I grew up a LSU fan but when I needed you the most you deserted me like I was nothing. My heart is at South Carolina now and that's it. But LSU came back hard once I surprised them and they found out I was going to qualify. It was too late by then. They kept calling me asking me to come take a visit at least, so that they could talk to me and remind me how much I liked them my whole life, and they kept reminding me how they had built a relationship with me during all those years at camp. But I didn't visit. Why bother. I am all about Carolina from this point forward in my life. They (Carolina) stood beside me and never left me during the hard times when there were some doubts in my mind. To LSU I was like, 'hey I was right here in your own backyard and you deserted me when I needed you.' "

What does your Mom and Dad think about you going so far away from home?

"They really didn't ... you know, let's see how to say this ... it is far from home. Twelve hours. At first they weren't really satisfied with it but I was determinded, and they knew it was in my heart and nothing was going to change my mind. Once they realized that then they finally accepted it and now they are fine with it and they are ready to be Gamecocks like me. They are already big Gamecock fans as a matter of fact. They are planning on coming up to see me play whenever they can."

Stanley we had someone from your hometown come on our board during the recruiting season and tell us a lot of things about you. Back then everyone was saying you were from Greensburg but he told everyone you actually lived in Amite (pronounced A-Meat), and that you had been highly regarded since your days of playing linebacker and fullback. Was he right? That was way back in December.

"(he laughs) Yes sir, he was right. I'd like to meet him. If he knows all about that stuff then he has been watching me for a long time. Yes sir. I played linebacker early, from like middle school, I played linebacker, fullback, offensive line, everything ... but I really started playing mostly the defensive line once I got in high school."

Well he told us that you dominated in high school. He told us some of the things he had seen from you. Why don't you tell us about your senior year. Narrow it down to that. How did you do last season?

"I made First Team All-District two times in a row, All-Metro, All-State, and I was MVP in this District on defense ... and I was the State of Louisiana's Most Valuable Defensive Player in my school's classification too. I had 98 tackles for the season. 39 behind the line of scrimmage and 18 sacks. And most of the teams we played double and triple-teamed me or else they would change their offense to try to stop me, like going to the shotgun to try to keep me out of their backfield. I got chopped a lot this season but they couldn't stop me no matter what."

So you're ready to come in and work on playing as a freshman. Do you think you are in shape enough - do you know about the heat up here?

"I know what it is like down here. I will not have any problems with the heat up there. It's hot as all get out down here in the summertime. Like 110 degrees in the summer. It can't be any hotter up there than it is here in Louisiana. I can handle it no problem. I'm ready."

"I'm staying in shape, I got Coach Moorer's workout. But we don't really have the equipment to do it all down here. I mean our locker room is so small we have to move the weights off the floor just to get our lockers open. It's like a closet really. So I just do what we have the equipment for, and the rest I sort of do what we have been doing all along on the equipment we have to stay in shape. I make do. But I can't wait to get into that weight room up at Carolina!"

Did you know they are planning on building a new and improved weight room at Carolina?

"You are kidding me! The one they have now is beautiful! That place is going to be my home."

(Note: Stanley shared his workout routine with us. Five days a week, M-F, he runs 25 wind sprints 40 yarders, then he does 10 gassers, then he does laterals and agility drills. Then he does a twenty minute cool down run of about two miles. He says he is trying to lose weight. He hits the weights six days a week, three upper and three lower, five of those after his running. For instance he starts by doing 15 reps of 300, then 10 reps of 325 then 8 reps of 350 until he burns out on the bench with someone spotting him.)

"I'm on a diet. I eat breakfast in the morning. Then I eat lunch around 11:00. Then I work out from like 12:00 to 3:00 then I come home and don't eat anything unless it is one piece of backed chicken without the skin and nothing else. I need to be around 300 -305 by the time I report and I am going to get there."

That's great and it sounds like you will reach your goal Stanley. But you do realize how much bigger and faster the game is about to get for you don't you?

"I'm like this about that. The only thing anybody is going to have on me is experience. You know? Like, they've been playing in the SEC and they know what's going on so they'll have that advantage on me at first. But I'm like, you'd better take me now because as soon as I learn my technique then it's over. Nobody's going to take me once I learn what the coaches are going to teach me. I love competition."

Coach Roberts recruited you right? Talk to us about that if you will?

"That's right. Coach Dave Roberts recruited me. He's real nice, he's real nice. He also coached my cousin, Eric Foster at Northeast (LA). He came down to meet my coach and watch film on me. My Coach, Alden Foster (not related to Eric), contacted Coach Roberts to come watch film and he did. When he saw the film on me he offered me right then and like I said he never left me, he stuck with me all the way."

But something must have really convinced you to sign with the Gamecocks? We're interested in finding out what it was? What made you switch from being a lifelong LSU Tiger fan who had been to four of their camps ... to one day being a Gamecock fan like you are now? We understand Coach Roberts and Coach Holtz stuck with you when times were hard and other schools were backing off. But there must have been more because we agree, we cannot remember the last time an athlete of your caliber left the state of Louisiana to go to another SEC school out of state? Was it your host? Who was your host during your visit?

"Jonathan Alston was my host on my visit. He's a real nice guy - he's cool. A very respectable person. I liked him a lot."

"You really wanna know? I'll tell you something about my visit up there. I came up the weekend of their big banquet. It was real nice. I wanted to cry. It was just a silly thing, it was just me. It was like when the coach (Lou Holtz) was talking to us and he said, 'You know, when you visit the right place you'll know it.' I don't know it was just me. I mean like you could feel the love for the place, the love the fans have and the people around there have. The love Coach Holtz has for that place. It's hard to explain it. I just knew that it was for me. I knew it right then."

"Here's something else. I was like at the Atlanta airport coming back from the visit. And I had my basket of like complimentary candy that had garnet and black colors and had this Gamecock thing on it. And Gamecock fans were stopping me in the airport, because they recognized me as being a big guy, and they were saying things like, 'Are you a football player? So what did you think? Are you going to Carolina?' And I was like, yes sir I am. I mean there was even this couple, these two real nice people who sat beside me on the plane and they were Carolina fans on their way somewhere. I mean that's what I am talking about. They are everywhere. And with everyone of them it was always the same. You could just see it in their eyes and feel the love for the place. I mean when I was a kid this was a dream for me. To play in the SEC and play football in the SEC you know what I mean? But I never dreamed it would be with South Carolina. In my dreams it was always LSU. But for this to happen the way it did I know the Good Lord was looking out for me because there is no place like Carolina."

"I'll tell you something too. I mean, what I'm trying to say is ... I am going to make it good for other kids down here you know what I mean? I mean like there are a lot of kids down here that are good ball players. I mean Louisiana is loaded with talent you know what I'm saying? And I promise you South Carolina is going to be able to come down here and sign more of the best players now that I am there. Because LSU is the only school in this state if you want to play in the SEC. But now that I am a Gamecock I'll be able to help more players from down here come up there. I mean I didn't know anything about Carolina, but now that I have found out about them and know about them there are going to be a lot of my friends that look up to me wanting to know about them too and I'll be able to tell them what it is all about being a Gamecock. Because a lot of them are actually wanting to go out of state. A lot of them are asking me now ... things like, tell us more about Carolina? And I am saying just let me get up there and take care of business and I'll be back to get you. I mean I am talking about some of the best players in this state. I'm going to help the Gamecocks make a name for themselves down here. I may be the first but I won't be the last."

By the way. I met Langston Moore at the banquet. I mean I watched Langston on TV when he played against LSU. And he was like a really good player, I knew that because I was watching him. That is another reason I decided to go with Carolina. So when I met him I went up to him and told him it was an honor to meet him. I want to be like that. I mean he earned my respect just me watching him play football. LSU double-teamed him all night and they couldn't stop him and he never quit even when they were getting beat. It inspired me to watch him play because I kept telling myself, I want to be like that when I get to Carolina. I want to play football like Langston Moore plays football. It was a real honor to meet him at the banquet. I looked for him just so I could tell him that. I respect real football players you know what I mean? No one can ever say anything about Langston Moore except that he was a real football player and that's what I want people to always say about me."

Who else did you meet at the banquet?

"Mostly the ones I hung around with were like, Freddy, (Freddy Saint Preux) from New York ... he's nice. He's big too. Like 6-5 and big. We hung out together with some other guys and we all got along well."

Okay two things we have heard that we would like for you to talk about Stanley. First ... the number 55? And then tell us about your nickname, "The Dinosaur" is it?

(he laughs hard and loud) "I'll be wearing number 55. I told Coach Holtz like I gotta have that number. So they said I could have it. It's my number and they promised me after doing some checking that I could have that number. They even went out of their way to call me one night to tell me that number 55 will be mine."

(then he laughs again.) "And my nickname is Duckie (Duck-ee) ... it's off a cartoon. "Land Before Time." A dinosaur ... he was the little one, I mean he was little, but he wasn't scared of nothing. At the time I was 12 years old but I was playing against my cousins and they were like 15 and 16 years old but I wasn't scared of them. That's why everybody calls me Duckie."

Anything that you would like to say to Gamecock fans who will be reading this?

"I would like to tell them this is a blessing ... me becoming a Gamecock. And hopefully, we'll do something all of us have always wanted to do. And you know what that is? You don't even have to ask do you? Because I know Gamecock fans think just like me. I know it in my heart. We're going to all do it together ... something we have all always wanted to do. I'll tell you what that is because I know it is going to happen in my heart. Together, we are going to win a National Championship. Tell them that for me okay?"

Stanley ... it is exciting to hear you say that is really is. When are you coming up? Are you planning on coming up early and working out with the team this summer?

"Yes sir. I'll come up in July and start working out with the team. I can't wait."

We can't either Stanley. And the fans reading this will feel the same way we have a feeling. See you then.

Next are comments from Stanley's high school coach - Alden Foster ...

Tell us about Stanley from your perspective if you will coach?

He's got great character, and I know the coaches up there will stay on him and motivate him even further. He's a hard worker, very strong and agile to be so big. I mean literally he runs a legit 4.8 forty right now and I know he is over 330 pounds don't let him kid you. I don't know I might be wrong about that. He may be down to 320 or so because I gotta admit he has been losing some weight since football season. You know most kids gain weight after the season but Stanley does appear to be losing it instead and getting stronger too. Like I also saw him bench 450 pounds this morning and he just turned 19 in January.

Can he play at this level coach?

He can play. He can play. He is getting himself in running shape right now. I've told him many times to start preparing himself now for the next level. He will be made to take his game to another level by the coaches up there, but he can do it. I got him as far as I could. He can flat out play.

Coach, he is one of the most polite young men we have spoken with. You did a good job with him Sir. BTW, what classification of ball do you all play in down there?

We were double-A but we played all the three-A schools like Amite and stuff ... We played in the league with LaBrandon Toefield, Michael Clayton, Steven LaFluer, Terrell Brown, Lester Ricard ... these are the type of people we have in this league. It's different down here than anywhere else in the country. We have serious players down here and Stanley is about as serious as any I have ever seen come out of here.

Talk about how South Carolina found out about Stanley please.

I called Coach Roberts and asked him to look at the film. The thing was Stanley qualified late. Before that there were a lot of major major programs looking at him but everyone was afraid of his grades. But Coach Roberts got here and they offered and the big thing was that they stuck with him and supported him. Then once Stanley's grades came through here came everyone again but by then Stanley had fallen in love with South Carolina and it was all over.

You talked about Stanley wanting to lose some weight. How much and can he do it?

Stanley is wanting to get down to about 305 before he reports and he'll do it. I know him. I've been seeing him out there and he is working real hard. He'll be under 305 before he reports.

Talk about his four years with you just a bit if you will Coach.

Stanley started as a true freshmen against very tough competition and he has always been good. He is just a natural football player. He came in as a true freshman ninth grader benching almost 300 pounds. His little brother came in as a true freshman two years ago and benched 250 on the barbell the first time he ever picked up the weights when he was only 14 years old. They are a family of strength freaks. He'll be a junior next year and he can run - he'll outrun Stanley now but he is only 14 like I said and he is about 6-1 240 or so.. He is going to be another division 1 player.

Stanley is a leader. It trickles down with him. If the coach above him is leading Stanley, then Stanley will lead those under him.

I want to tell you something you may not know. The kid that started this past year at ULL (Louisiana Lafayette) at quarterback, he's a cornerback now. Johnnie Felders was an all-state QB for me last year when Stanley was a junior. But he started at cornerback for ULL as a freshman this past year. Well, Stanley and Johnnie might get to square off against each other this year because I understand ULL is the opener for South Carolina this year right? Tyler Willis is on that team too and he was a teammate of Stanley's too. So I know what Stanley is thinking. Stanley wants to work hard enough so that he can play in the first game --- mark my word. You know how much I think he will? I've already booked my tickets to fly up there and see all three of them play on opening day.

You will be welcome here coach. Our fans will enjoy having you all here. That brings to mind another question. Stanley talked about encouraging other players to come to USC in the future but we were left kind of cloudy on that. Does he mean other players from around your district or parrish? How does he know that many younger players throughout the state?

Yeah, he's not kidding. He's talking about right here. We've got a great class coming up next season. We've got about seven that'll sign off of next year's team ... four of those will go D1 for sure and two more may improve enough to go to LSU or somewhere. Yeah, I think Stanley knows what he is talking about. I'm sitting here in a stack of letters right now from Ohio State, LSU, So Cal, Notre Dame ... hmmm, let me see, here's one from Texas and Purdue, Stanford, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami. I've got to hand these letters out to my junior players that will be seniors next season when they come in here to workout this afternoon. All of these kids love Stanley. He is their hero because he overcame something that no one thought he could beat. But that's Stanley. Stanley is a winner and that's why everyone loves him. But you want to know about these seven juniors I've got that are going to sign with somebody next year? They all followed Stanley this year and learned from his mistakes. And they listened to him when he told them to work on the books. So next year, all seven of these players are already going to be qualified. Heck, they already are. Yeah, you could say Stanley is onto something. South Carolina just struck a gold mine.

Thank you coach.

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