Unique events for RB prospect

Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Fla.) class of 2007 prospect Xavier Stinson also wrestles and competes in the shot put and discus. A running back with eight scholarship offers from college football programs, Stinson chose his field events for familial reasons.

It is not uncommon for a top football prospect to also compete in track and field. Such is the case with Xavier Stinson of Chaminade-Madonna College Prep in Hollywood, Fla., who is one of the top 50 class of 2007 football prospects in his talent-rich state.

What is atypical is that Stinson is a tailback prospect, albeit a powerfully built 5-foot-9, 214-pound one, who competes in the shot put and discus for his high school track team. Many football players — linemen usually — have thrown shot and/or disc; they customarily cite the balance, technique and strength necessary to succeed in the events as directly applicable to the skills football requires.

Stinson's reason has nothing to do with all of that. He actually chose to compete in the shot and discus, he said during a telephone interview last week, so that he could help instruct his younger sister in the events.

"Well, I have a sister in Miami," Stinson explained. "… I try to teach her as much as I can. I just thought I should just do that. And I run (sprints) a little bit in practice."

Zakeya Stinson, a sophomore at Miami Southridge High School, won the Class 4A state championship in the shot put for the second consecutive year this spring (43-7 1/2) and placed second in the discus (130-7).

"Now we are kind of competing with the awards and all that," Xavier said. "We've got a houseful."

Xavier Stinson was not nearly as successful as his state-champion sister in their shared field events, but his 47-foot personal-best shot put and 152-foot discus are nothing to scoff at either. In addition, Stinson placed fifth at the Class 2A state championships in wrestling in the 215-pound weight class.

His primary focus, of course, is football, the sport in which he won a state championship last fall and the sport that is garnering him an increasing number of college scholarship offers.

Stinson will be in his fourth year of varsity football this fall. He played on the varsity at Melbourne Central Catholic in Melbourne, Fla., as a freshman and ran for 996 yards.

"I was four yards away from a thousand," Stinson said.

"One more carry, that's all I needed," he added with a laugh.

Stinson transferred to Chaminade-Madonna in Hollywood, a suburb of Miami, at the end of his freshman year and played varsity football for the Lions the past two seasons.

As a sophomore and junior Stinson rotated in at running back behind Willie Floyd, who signed with Florida Atlantic in February. Floyd ran for 1,449 yards and 18 touchdowns on just 165 carries last season, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and was named a state player of the year.

Stinson said he ran for about 500 yards as a sophomore and 970 as a junior. Stinson ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns in Chaminade-Madonna's 50-15 victory over South Sumter in the Class 2A state championship game. Floyd had 242 rushing yards and three scores in that game.

This year Stinson will be the featured back for the Lions, who will be looking to win their third state championship in the past four years.

Stinson also thrives on defense; as a linebacker he had 76 tackles, including 12 for loss and four sacks, and was named the Broward County Defensive Player of the Year.

Some colleges have pursued Stinson as a fullback or linebacker, but he wants to play tailback in college, and he has eight scholarship offers from schools recruiting him as such: Auburn, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida International, South Florida and BYU.

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