DL, 6-0, 270 lbs., 4.9
Upper Darby High, Drexel Hill, Pa. Stocky, strong defensive lineman who played for Coach Rich Gentile at Upper Darby High ... two-time Delaware County Daily Times all-Delco team ... helped the Royals post a 6-3 record as a senior ... team captain and a three-year starter ... selected to all-DelVal Central team ... also named to the all-eastern Pennsylvania honor squad ... will participate in the Big 33 all-star game.
Had 79 assisted tackles as a senior, including 54 unassisted stops … also recorded a team-high 10 quarterback sacks … Upper Darby kept a statistic, "helper," which gave a defender a mark each time he disrupted a play and allowed another to make the tackle. Stoury had 63 of those.
Rachid was not offered a scholarship by the Mountaineers until literally the last moment. Because of his height, he hadn't gotten much attention from Division I-A schools, though I-AA programs like James Madison, Villanova, Richmond, William & Mary and Rhode Island were after him. WVU didn't offer him a scholarship until Wednesday morning, just moments before he was going to sign a letter of intent with Villanova. The Mountaineers had a scholarship come open late (apparently when linebacker Darell Slay signed with South Carolina), and they quickly put in a call to Stoury.
"The thing is that Rachid really wanted to go to West Virginia," explained Gentile. "I'm really happy for him. It made my job tough, because I had to call up the coaches at Villanova and tell them that Rachid was going to sign at West Virginia. Let me tell you, they weren't happy with me. But that's OK, because this is what Rachid wanted all along, and I'm thrilled he got it. And I'm confident that he can play at that level. So many people get caught up in numbers like height. Sure, it helps to be bigger, but you also have to be able to play football, and Rachid can play. If he were 6-3 or 6-4, he would have been able to go anywhere in the country. But because he's shorter, people have questions.
"Let me tell you, though, Rachid is by far the most dominating physical player I've had. And we had Floyd Wedderburm and Todd Ritchie both play here (before each went on to Penn State and then the NFL). Rachid is more physical than any of them."
Stoury is from a school that has produced 15 Division I-A players in the last 12 years … Also from the same hometown (Drexel Hill) as another former Mountaineer who would have wound up at Villanova if not for a late scholarship offer from WVU. That player was Anthony Becht, who was a first round draft choice in 2000 by the New York Jets. Becht played for Upper Darby's archrival, Monsignor Bonner … Stoury bench presses 425 pounds and squats 700 … with his size and strength, he will almost certainly be a noseguard at WVU.
"Rachid has all the makings of a perfect noseguard," stated Gentile. "You want a noseguard to eat up blockers and create a pile in the middle, and Rachid is so strong and so low to the ground, that you can't move him. He's also got a motor that never stops and the best work ethic of any player I've ever had. He's just relentless. He's so strong and so powerful, and he never tires. He just beats people up. I think he'll be great at West Virginia. Rachid thinks so, too. He's very confident in his own ability, and he definitely wants to prove to people that he belongs at that level."
Stoury is an honor student who has already scored over 1,000 on his SAT and is interested in studying computers at West Virginia ... a member of the mock trial club and school executive committee at Upper Darby.
What Rich Rodriguez says: "Rachid Stoury is a guy we've looked at for quite a while. When we changed defensive fronts from an even front to an odd front, it made Rachid more valuable. He's a shorter defensive lineman who we think will be an excellent noseguard. He's very strong, squats over 600 pounds and benches over 400. He's an honor student and really a self-made man. We think he can make a tremendous impact, maybe early, for us."
What Herb Hand says: "Rachid is an undersized defensive lineman. We're going to switch to a three-man front, and to be truthful, we probably wouldn't have recruited him if we weren't switching to this scheme. He is purely a noseguard at this level. Now did we have to beat Penn State and Notre Dame to get him? No. He had offers from schools like Villanova, Richmond and JMU. We may have been his only Division I-A offer. But if you watch that kid on film, you see the type of motor that he has, and you see a kid that benches 425 pounds and is very hard to move. He has tremendous work ethic. I compare him to a Dan Klecko (a 5-11, 264-pound defensive tackle at Temple who was a first-team all-Big East selection this past season)."