Stringfellow Shuts It Down

Demorea Stringfellow came to the attention of UW fans when he was one of eight verbal commits in one day during Washington's Rising Stars Camp, and the 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver gave us an extensive Q&A this week about his season, the Under Armour All-American game and why he's shutting down the recruiting process after this weekend's official visit to UW.

On this past weekend's loss to Kaiser in the CIF Central Section Division Finals - "It was a great game from the start. It was a good battle, going back and forth - deliver a punch and get a punch. It was 7-7 the first half. We were confident, came out with our heads on fire the second half. We got some big plays and some not-so-good plays…just basically…they came out with the luck. The luck was on their side. We played a good game against them. It was a good battle the whole way through…we played four quarters of good football all the way through. The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but it was a good game."

His 70-yard touchdown in the second half - "The drive before that, they scored. My coach, he saw some of their defense before where we ran a play and our quarterback threw it over my head, but I guess our coach looked at it again and that same spot was wide open so he threw it to me again and I took it all the way."

Did you think you had them on the ropes a little after that play? - "Yeah, I thought we had them on the ropes a little bit. It was a tight game…14-14. It brought us some momentum and gave our defensive players some confidence to get back out there and do what they do."

So what's next on your agenda? Get some rest? Get back in the gym? - "Usually after the season, our coach…we're a year-round program, so we have football second period. So two, three days after the season we're back in the weight room, but since my season is over I'll take a couple of weeks off and get ready for this Under Armour Game and then just pound the weights here and get ready for the next level."

What's the schedule for the Under Armour Game? - "All I know is that I leave the last week of December and the game is I think January 4th or 3rd - somewhere around there."

As excited as you must be about playing in that game, was it hard to not think about it while trying to get Rancho Verde a championship? - "For me, having an opportunity to play in the championship game was just as exciting as playing in the Under Armour game. For me it was just looking forward to two big games in the season and our game played first - so it was time for me to focus as a team captain and make sure everyone was focused on our goal at the end of the season. It wasn't a big deal just to stay focused on that game, but now that it's done I can focus on dominating in the upcoming game."

Any stats that you remember from this season? - "Not exactly. Roughly I probably had about 12 touchdowns, about 900 yards, about 25-30 catches."

Did you play both sides for Rancho Verde? - "At one time I did practice safety, but I ended up getting hurt, a high ankle sprain - so my coach had me rest on that and then I just played my original position."

Did you miss any games? - "Yeah, I missed two games - (Riverside) Poly and Valley View."

Did it affect you in the playoffs? - "No. I just taped it up and did what I had to do."

I spoke with Troy Williams the other night and he told me specifically he keeps in touch with his future receivers - like you and Darrell Daniels. Talk to me about how that friendship had evolved - "It's a great opportunity to meet players before you actually get to play with them. We met first my sophomore year and then we met again up at Washington when I committed. It's a big deal to stay in touch with the players you know you're going to play with in the future and just getting to know them and building that relationship, that bond that you'll have when you meet."

What's the one thing that's stuck with you about Troy in the process of getting to know him? - "Just his commitment to the game and his commitment to what he does. It's fantastic what a great player he is, and you don't get there by just waking up. That's all work and dedication. It's sort of…you look up to that person, because that's what kind of person you'd like to be - a hard-working and dedicated person."

Do you look back at that day when you all committed at the RAM and think how crazy that was at the time? - "Yeah. It was a big deal. It was a once-in-a-lifetime type deal. It was fun while it lasted. We got a chance to enjoy that with the players and the coaches and the reporters that were there and the family members that were there to support us…it was a big deal for us."

Who else have you kept in touch with from that group? - "Actually I just got off the phone with Na'Ty (Rodgers). He's not committed to Washington but he's one of the players that's going to be coming down next week to check it out (Rodgers confirmed with me he'll be visiting this weekend with Stringfellow). I know the coaches want him to be part of the team. So I keep in touch with him and see where he stands with the recruiting process and seeing if he wants to become a Dawg."

Have you turned into a recruiter for Washington? - "Yeah. It's like a personal statement. You always want the team that you go to to be the one that's on top and the best team. You do whatever you can to help out that team. I know…I've watched (Rodgers) at the camp and he's a great offensive left tackle. I heard about Washington's tackles going down and one of their other players going down the first game of the season. I know they need players like Na'Ty to come in and play as a freshman; they need players like me to come in and play as a freshman. They need good players to come in and be game-changers and program-changers. It's basically on the players, who they want to play with and how good they want to be. Hard work pays off and you do what you can to do what you want."

How have you been able to fit in the recruiting process with the season at Rancho Verde? I know you've already taken an official visit to Nebraska around Halloween - "It's pretty tough. You still have school and then being the captain of the football team you have to make sure the guys are still in line…you still have big games and you still have the recruiting process, so it's tough. But somehow I found a way to fit it in my schedule and it's been a great experience. You get to see and look back at how fortunate you are to be put in this position, so you take it in while you can. It's not going to be here forever."

When is the last time you talked to the UW coaches? - "Actually the offensive coordinator (Eric Kiesau) and coach D (Jimmie Dougherty) were just here today talking to my parents. I wasn't here the whole time because I was at a teammate's house getting some work done - I had a couple of papers I had to type up. But they talked to my parents and they basically just laid it out to them and I got a chance to talk to them. They are handling their job pretty good."

So they were there and you weren't? - "Yeah…I was pulling up and they were walking out the door. I got a chance to talk to them a little bit them. I told them I had to handle some business and they told me they understood. My Dad told me earlier today they were coming by and I told him I had a couple papers to type. The coaches said it was perfectly fine and just to handle my business…you don't want to miss out on that…that deal. So they were perfectly fine with that. They got a chance to talk to my Mom and they said they'll be back I guess when they can, to come back and see me."

Did you get a chance to set up an official visit? - "Yes, actually I'm coming up this Thursday and I'll be there until Sunday."

What are you looking for during your official visit? What questions do you need answered? - "Really…when I came up the last time I had all my questions answered and with the coach here I got all my questions answered here. With my parents, they did what they could to ask questions. Just the comfort that I felt up there, just seeing if it's up there when I go up there again and feel that family-like environment is going to be a pretty big part of it. As of right now I'm pretty set on them. If I had to choose right now I'd go to the University of Washington and nowhere else, so I'm pretty set right now."

What did you parents tell you about their visit with the UW coaches? Do they feel the same way you do about UW? - "Yes. My parents love the Washington coaches. My Dad actually was out in LA when Coach Sark was in LA, back in his days. He's been following him from SC to Washington. So my Dad knew a little history about the coaching staff and stuff like that. They've done nothing but encourage me to follow my heart and do what I feel is best."

Do you have any other official visits planned, other than the one you took to Nebraska? - "As of right now I'm considering shutting everything down. This is the school that I want to go to. I've experienced all the recruiting that I needed to to enjoy myself. I'm comfortable where I want to go and that's Washington. I think this will be my last official…it's only my second one, but I think this is going to be my last official. I'll shut it down…that's where I want to go."

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