As a freshman in high school, Washington Huskies football recruit Damore'ea Stringfellow had never played a single down of organized football in his entire life. But when Moreno Valley, CA's Rancho Verde High School coach Pete Duffy saw the man now known as 'String,' he saw the potential from the get go.
Stringfellow had never played a down of organized football, but Duffy put him through varsity practices that first year. He worked alongside Quincy Enunwa (now a receiver at Nebraska) and Junior Pomee (a tight end at USC) and against Ronald Powell (a linebacker at Florida and the nation's top recruit in the 2010 recruiting class).
Duffy didn't make it easy on the freshman. In fact, Stringfellow got his "[butt] kicked quite a bit." But it formed the foundation that helped the 6-foot-3, 203-pound receiver develop into one of the top prospects in the country.
Having top talents around him and a coach that believed in his abilities was crucial to his success, but so was his work ethic, desire to learn, and the ability to make yourself better every practice, every class, every rep. That is Sting to a T.
"I just studied it," said Stringfellow, who is No. 74 in the ESPN 150. "I love the game. I study different positions, linebackers and corners, because I go against these guys all the time. I study them and try my best to defeat them and just work hard at it."
His physical nature will certainly take him a long way, as will the knowledge of himself as well as the game, knowing his limitations while harnessing his strengths to take advantage of all situations.
During one-on-one drills on the first day of the Huskies' Rising Stars Camp on June 29 Stringfellow hauled in a pass along the sideline with a defensive back draped all over him. It was one of the most impressive catches of the day. He said he wanted the ball, so he made sure he came down with it.
"I'm pretty physical," Stringfellow said. "I'm not really the fastest guy on the field, so I have to build separation, focus on technique and just pay attention to fundamentals."
Hopefully that continutes for the Huskies the next few seasons.
For more on the Huskies head over to UW Dawg Pound.