It's really not uncommon to see two-sport athletes in high school nowadays. Heck, you can even say it's not so rare to see three-sport athletes anymore, but finding a player that excels at all three while measuring 6-foot-4, weighing 320 pounds and wearing size 22 shoes is nearly impossible.
Donell Stanley, an offensive lineman prospect from Latta (Latta, S.C.), just so happens to be one of those rare specimens.
“I've been playing all kind of sports since I was about four or five years old,” claimed Stanley. “I've been very interested in all of them since growing up, so I guess that's why I've been able to become pretty good at them.”
The talented junior demonstrated his athletic prowess last season by posting monster numbers in baseball (.481 batting average with four home runs and 35 RBIs), basketball (averaging 15 points per game and 13 rebounds per contest) and football.
Though being a wall on the offensive line, the Latta standout also showed his dominance on defense by racking up 91 tackles and seven sacks during the 2012 season.
“Everybody says they’re surprised by my speed on the football field,” he said. “If I were to describe my playing style, I would say that I'm very quick with my feet my hands. I definitely love to chop block and I work on my technique of time. I love to play defense also.
“Right now, I'm being recruited more for the offensive line, but there’s a lot of schools that say they can use me on the defensive side also. It really doesn't matter to me which side of the ball I play on.”
The offer list he holds is already very impressive to say the least, especially this early.
“I believe I'm up to 14 offers right now and I'm still hearing from a lot of other schools,” stated the 2014 prospect. “I know I have offers from teams like Alabama, Clemson, LSU, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Florida, USC and South Carolina. I'm also getting a lot of mail from Florida State, Duke and Notre Dame.”
Is he interested in the Irish at all?
“I'm definitely interested in Notre Dame,” he admitted. “Notre Dame has a lot to offer and I've seen them play a lot on TV. I like their style of play and their quarterback (Everett Golson) is from South Carolina and I enjoy watching him play too.
“I really haven't spoken to Notre Dame yet, but I hope to real soon.”
Some people think the Irish’s blowout loss to Alabama on January 7th would definitely diminish what Southern prospects, like Stanley, might think of the program, but according to the dominant lineman nothing could be further from the case.
“Everybody knows that Alabama’s going to be a top-tier team, so what happened in the national championship game doesn't change my thinking about Notre Dame,” explained Stanley. “To tell you the truth, a lot of people didn't think Notre Dame would even make it that far, so that just shows that they're very good team.”
In no hurry to end recruiting anytime soon, the South Carolina product plans on doing his homework on each institution showing him interest before coming to any type of decision to shorten his list.
“I'm looking for a place that has a good tradition and is also a winning school,” he shared. “I'm looking to develop good relationships with the coaches and will also take a look at the facilities of each school. I'll also be looking for school that will have the major I choose to go in.”
A trip to South Bend could also be in the cards, but a lot of that depends on how the Irish plan to recruit Stanley going forward.
“If Notre Dame continues to show me interest and gives me an offer, then I definitely would plan on going up there for a visit.”