By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.
Vic Floyd knows a thing or
two about evaluating college prospects. During a high school coaching
career that's taken him from North Carolina to South Carolina and now
Georgia, Floyd has helped develop more than 100 college football
One of Floyd's prized
pupils during a three-year run as head coach at Dudley High School in
Greensboro, NC, between 2001 and 2003 was DeMario Pressley. A defensive
lineman, Pressley went on to become an All-Atlantic Coast Conference
performer at N.C. State, an NFL draft pick and is now a member of the
Flash forward to 2011 and
Floyd's latest line prospect at Brunswick High School in Brunswick, GA,
Dominique Stallworth. In Stallworth, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive
lineman, Floyd sees an athlete comparable to Pressley.
“He's probably not quite
the athlete that DeMario was, but he's a lot more aggressive,'' Floyd
said. “He's probably stronger than DeMario right now, and DeMario is in
the pros. This kid is strong and he's got a chance to be a good one.''
That's good news for East
Carolina fans since Stallworth became the third member of the Pirates'
recruiting Class of 2012 back on June 15. Stallworth chose ECU over an
offer from Conference USA rival UAB, but Floyd believes more attention
would have come the lineman's way if he hadn't committed so early.
“He would have gotten some
SEC offers as he went on,'' Floyd said. “East Carolina offered him in
May when they came through during spring recruiting. They had already
watched film that I had mailed out to them. A lot of the larger schools
wanted to see him in camp. If he had gone to South Carolina's camp, they
would have offered him.
“But he took a trip up to
East Carolina and just fell in love with it. Brunswick and Greenville
are about the same size towns, so I think it had the feel of home.''
Stallworth said he was
impressed by ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill and offensive line coach
Brandon Jones during a visit to campus for a one-day camp in June. The
trip came on the heels of a visit to Louisville, which was also
aggressively recruiting Stallworth.
“I really liked how hard
they work, and how they broke things down to me, especially the
academics,'' Stallworth said. “Grades are a big thing to them, and for
Floyd arrived at Brunswick
just as Stallworth was transitioning from middle school to high school.
Although he'd only just started playing organized football at the middle
school level, Stallworth had natural assets and strong bloodlines that
made him stand out.
Stallworth's cousin, Allen
Bailey, played defensive line at Miami and was recently taken in the
third round of the NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
“He (Stallworth) was one
of those guys you could easily spot coming from the middle school,''
Floyd said. “He had these long arms — he's got a 7-foot-2 wing span — so
he was long-armed and mighty large for a freshman.''
Stallworth played on the
Brunswick junior varsity as a freshman before earning a starting job
with the varsity as a sophomore. A key to Stallworth's rapid
development, according to Floyd, was his work ethic in the weight room.
“He fell in love with the
iron,'' Floyd said. “Gradually, over time, he just got better and
better, and stronger and stronger, and became a really good football
A great example of how
Stallworth has “developed'' occurred last season in a game against
Valdosta. Stallworth was matched up against Valdosta's 6-5, 240-pound
defensive end, Jarquez Samuel, who had scholarship offers from
Louisville, UAB and West Virginia among others.
“We were playing Valdosta
in game four of the regular season,'' Floyd said. “I think it might have
been a third-and-seven play. I promise you, Dominique just annihilated
the guy. He drove him seven yards laterally and into the ground.
“That kind of epitomizes
his ability. He has a tremendous upside. He's just starting to touch a
little bit of his ability. A lot of times bigger kids develop later, and
I see that happening with him.''
Stallworth has been used
mainly at tackle during his career at Brunswick, but is expecting to
play guard for the Pirates.
“They think I fit that
(guard) mold in their offense,'' Stallworth said. “They showed me a lot
of film of their offense right before camp. Their tempo was a little
faster than what we do here, but it's essentially the same style of
offense. I think it fits my strengths as an offensive linemen, which are
my power and my footwork. It's an aggressive offense and I think it will
be fun for me.''
Stallworth is the third
player to make a verbal commitment to ECU, but he's the first
out-of-state prospect to make a pledge to the Pirates.