Columbus DeSales WR Kenny Stafford certainly has the genes to become a great football player some day. Nephew of former Ohio State and NFL star WR Chris Carter, Stafford is making a name of his own as one of the top receivers and top prospects in Ohio’s class of 2008.
Matt Natali caught up with Stafford for more, plus we have exclusive video highlights from ScoutingOhio.com.
Columbus DeSales WR Kenny Stafford certainly has the genes to become a great football player some day.
Nephew of former Ohio State and NFL star WR Chris Carter, Stafford is making a name of his own as one of the top prospects in Ohio.
Tied for No. 23 amongst Ohio’s top prospects in the Class of 2008 by Ohio High magazine and rated as the No. 2 receiver, Stafford has put on a show at camps and combines this summer showing off his blazing 4.4-40 speed. Stafford (6-3, 180) camped at Ohio State, Purdue and will camp at Michigan State this weekend.
“The competition is real good. It just makes you perform better when you know you have competition there,” Stafford said about his camp experiences. “At Ohio State, I was working out with DeVier Posey and it was just a little bit of a competition between the both of us.”
Posey, who is rated as the top WR in the state and the No. 6 prospect overall, became the third verbal commitment to Ohio State’s 2008 recruiting class in early March.
The OSU camp was not the first time the Stafford and Posey had gone head-to-head as LaSalle traveled to Columbus last fall and defeated DeSales 30-9.
“We talked after game last year and there is an ongoing, friendly competition between the both of us,” said Stafford.
The top two receivers in the state will battle again this season in week nine as DeSales is scheduled to travel to Cincinnati to take on LaSalle.
Like Posey, Stafford has impressed coaches at the college level.
“Coaches say they like my speed and they like how I catch the ball with my hands and not my body,” said Stafford. “They like how I track the ball in the air but said I need to work on my route running. They also like how I block as a receiver and they just compliment me for what I have done.”
Stafford currently has offers to Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Akron, Miami (Oh.), Ohio and Indiana. Stafford also said Cincinnati and West Virginia have been in touch.
“The recruiting process is going well. It is a first for me so I am just getting used to it. But it is coming along and right now it is real exciting,” he said.
“I am not going to make a decision anytime soon. I am just going to wait and see what happens. I am not going to wait too long but I am going to wait until I feel like I have the best offer and the best school for me.”
Being the nephew of one of football’s all time great receivers has been helpful for Stafford in developing as both a player and a person. Carter, of course, was an All-American WR at Ohio State and went on to have an illustrious 17-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins tallying 1,101 catches for 13,899 yards (12.6 avg.) and 130 TDs.
“It’s great. To have someone who has been through it all – its perfect,” Stafford said. “He gives me his experiences with the game and gives me outlooks on what I should do. He leads me in the right path because he has been through it all and he worked hard to be where he is at and where he’s been. But he also pushes me and makes sure I am working hard.
“He knows what it takes,” he added.
Stafford is currently in Florida with Carter participating in his uncle’s Fast Program, which focuses on strength training, cardiovascular development, neurological enhancement, and sport specific movement training¹.
“He’s there for me. If I need to call someone and get help on the game or just someone to talk to, he’ll be there,” Stafford said.
Return To Stark?
DeSales finished Division III state runners-up in 2005 and with 26 seniors returning from last year’s 9-4 team, Stafford and his fellow Stallion teammates are hoping for a return trip to Stark County in December.
“We return a lot of seniors and the entire defense is returning except for three starters,” Stafford said. “The offense is looking good but we will have a decision to make at quarterback. But other than that, everything is good.”
First-year head coach Ryan Wiggins was the defensive coordinator of the 2005 team before taking the Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary head coaching job last season. Wiggins returned to his alma mater in December to take over the DeSales program with the departure of Bob Jacoby to Hamilton Township.
“(Wiggins) knows about the traditions and everything, so he knows what we’re all about.
“Everything is going (well). He is making conditioning real hard on us, running us, making sure we’re in shape – but I think we’ll be pretty good. I think our senior class is determined to make it back to the state championships like we did our sophomore year. We’ll be a contender,” said Stafford.
But DeSales will be contending in Division II this season moving up from Division III following the OHSAA realignment of Divisions in May.
“I am very excited about the season,” Stafford said. “It is going to be a good season and it is my last high school year for football, so I want to make it fun and I want to enjoy it.”
Note: This exclusive video footage film courtesy of ScoutingOhio.com can only be viewed using Windows Media Player. If you do not have Windows Media Player, click on the following links to download the media player for either Windows 2000/98 or Windows XP.
Ohio prospects who want to submit their video to ScoutingOhio.com, you may contact Mark Porter via e-mail at FootballCMS@aol.com for more details on how to contribute video. Or you can send tapes to:
P.O. Box 1046
Canfield, Ohio 44406
¹Information from http://www.fastprogram.com/