It was a storybook finish for Quentin Darby and the South Pointe Stallions last season. Their explosive squad served notice as one of the top teams not only in South Carolina but the entire nation last season.
The Stallions however have lost a significant part of that firepower in Stephon Gilmore, Charles Holmes, Devonte Holloman, Devin Wherry, and Pat Burris due to graduation. Darby sat down with us to talk about his outlook for his team in 2009 and to update us on current status of his recruitment.
We saw Darby recently in Charlotte NC at the Carolina Panthers 7on7 tournament. It was there that we noticed that Darby has worked hard on improving his pass catching ability out of the backfield. On numerous plays he found holes in the defense and made plays to help move the chains for his squad.
"Yes that's an area I've been working hard on. I have just been working with my quarterbacks during practice and during breaks on the sidelines."
While the Stallions didn't come away with the championship in Charlotte they were able to gather some great experience for some of their younger players. With the loss of so many seniors last season Darby talked about his role with now.
"Yes I feel like I'm already taking steps as more of a leader for the team now. It's not just because I'm a senior though because Jadaveon Clowney and Gerald Dixon are stepping up the roles as leaders too. I feel good about our team. We can go back to state because we're all getting after it everyday from the seniors all the way down to the young guys."
Darby along with Stephon Gilmore powered the ground game for South Pointe last season. With more of the load on his shoulders this coming season he says there's been an effort to improve a number of facets of his game.
"I'm working hard on my speed and just getting stronger. I'm also trying to boost my conditioning so I can get my wind back right. I'm 218 pounds now. I think my size is one of my biggest strengths though. I move pretty well for a guy my size because I'm able to get around defenders compared to a lot of guys my size."
Darby couldn't recall his statistics from last season but did think back to their fantastic season last year to recap some of his thoughts.
One team that they faced provided them with their toughest challenge. "Rock Hill was the toughest matchup for us last year I think. They gave us a good run." In regards to individuals that stood out in his mind there were two who quickly came to mind. "Malliciah Goodman from West Florence was a huge dude to try and block. Then there was a reciever from Laurens in the playoffs who really started to make us look bad for a while there (laughs)."
Our conversation turned to recruiting and Darby shed some light on his current status.
"Right now I hear the most from South Carolina, Georgia Southern, Tennessee, Louisville, NC State, Notre Dame, and East Carolina. I've got offers from South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia Southern."
Darby says he hasn't been able to visit a lot of those schools but he has made a few trips in the past to Georgia, Georgia Tech, and NC State.
Darby has only visited one school that he holds an offer from, South Carolina. He talked about what he likes most about the Gamecocks.
"I really like the atmosphere at South Carolina and of course where it is in terms of location. I know a lot of players on the team already of course. I also like that my mom wouldn't have to travel too far to come see me play."
The focus right now remains on his senior season not only on the field but in the classroom. Darby says he'll work harder than ever to continue to improve his GPA and his SAT/ACT scores to ensure that he'll qualify easily.
Looking ahead education will play a big factor in his decision he informed us. That along with how strong the football program will be along with a good feeling for the area in terms of how well it fits for him.
"I want to make my decision during the season but I may wait it out if I have to."
Keep it dialed in right here with us as we await junior video highlights of Darby in action as well as some of his South Pointe teammates in Jadaveon Clowney and Gerald Dixon. We'll keep you up to date with the very latest here at SCPrepNation.com!