King can scoot

Damian King is an electric prospect from Indian Rocks Christian in Largo, Fla.

One of the best kept secrets in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is a super athlete from Largo (Fla.) Indian Rocks Christian in Damian King. This kid is very explosive and very dangerous in space. King is good enough to play on either side of the ball at the next level and he also excels as returning punts and kicks.

"Most teams are recruiting me as an athlete," King said. "A few schools like me a cornerback. It doesn't matter to me, I just want to get on the field and play and help my team out."

King is only 5-foot-11, 166-pounds. But he can flat out run. King has a suddenness to his game, can start and stop and then hit a top gear very quickly. He's just one of those kids that can put his foot in the ground and he's gone. King is instinctual, possesses excellent vision and elusiveness. He can shake and bake with the best of them. King catches the ball cleanly and doesn't look to fight the football. It's natural to him. He can get up in the air and highpoint it as well. Defensively, he's a smooth cornerback that has all the skills you look for in the position at this stage.

Those are a lot of positives and the one glaring negative is average size. But he will get bigger and stronger with work in the weight room and that will come with time and patience. In the meantime, he just continues to try and get bigger and faster.

"To be honest, I am a 4.5 [forty] guy," King said. "I am working hard to get to that 4.4 range. Out there on the field I can run, I am very quick and I have very good hands. Plus I would consider myself a smart player.

"Defensively I am a smooth corner. I can jam, play man or even zone."

Some teams have noticed as well, though not everyone knows about King. His first scholarship offer was from West Virginia.

"They offered a couple of months ago," King said. "I have six or seven. Syracuse has offered. So has Kansas State."

Kansas State and Pitt have also offered. Then you have teams like South Florida, Missouri, Indiana and UCF that are very close to pulling the trigger. King has made only one visit this spring and that was to see the Bulls.

"I liked it a lot," King said. "The school is very nice and I loved the facilities. It's close to home and that's great for my family. USF is recruiting me as an athlete."

This summer King plans to hit the road and see more schools. On the wish list is West Virginia, Pitt and Missouri.

"I am pretty wide open I guess," King said. "But I do really like West Virginia a lot. They have a good system for me. I won't really know until I get up there and visit them this summer. I would like to play in a spread where I could get the ball in space."

King also runs track. This spring he has run 11.0 in the 100 meters and 22.5 in the 200 meters.


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