CLEMSON - Rick Stockstill's reputation as a straight-shooter is well
Clemson's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator has a
tell-it-like-it-is mentality about him which differs from the approach taken
by many others in his profession. It's an approach which has served him well
in recruiting top-notch athletes to Clemson University since 1989.
So when Stockstill heaps praise on a player, it's done with no false bravado.
Having said all that, it's still unusual for a true freshman to make a
sudden, undeniable impact after just two days of camp. But watching Roscoe
Crosby during two-a-day workouts Monday and Tuesday prompted this response
"After four practices, he's the best I've ever seen as a true freshman. The
light hasn't gone on yet, but he does things out there that are God-given."
Will Crosby start aginst UCF? |
High praise for anyone, to be sure. But Crosby is hardly just anyone.
The Union High School prodigy was one of the most sought-after recruits in
the nation, making first-team All-American lists for both USA Today and
Parade. His list of football accolades could fill a wall, and in case anyone
has forgotten the Kansas City Royals thought enough of Crosby as a baseball
player to tempt him with the No. 9 overall pick in last June's Major League
Baseball Draft. But only if he would give up football.
Crosby declined, but that didn't stop the Royals from drafting him in the
second round (59th overall) and giving him a $1.75 million signing bonus.
Special athlete? You bet.
"You can see a ton, even after just two days," Stockstill said. "I was able
to see him in (high school) spring practice once as a sophomore and once as a
junior, and then I saw him play one game as a junior and one as a senior. The
rest you see on film, and sometimes you don't see the true effect.
"But I knew he had a lot of talent and was a tremendous athlete. He's
everything we hoped for and more."
Stockstill's recruiting of Crosby was intense, as one might expect. However
even after the 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver signed his letter of intent,
Stockstill kept recruiting.
This time, however, it was against baseball.
"I told him early on I'd be shocked if he ever played college baseball," said
Stockstill. "We knew he was going to sign here and then see what baseball was
doing. And we knew baseball would come hard after him. (Hall of Famer and
current Kansas City executive) George Brett point-blanked him and told Roscoe
the Royals would draft him ninth overall if he gave up football."
But Crosby didn't, much to the delight of Clemson fans, many of whom took
advantage of the rare open practices this week in hopes of getting a glimpse
of Stockstill's prize recruit.
Now Crosby and fellow prize rookie Ariese Currie are expected to give Clemson
the big-play threats head coach Tommy Bowden has been promising since his
arrival in 1999.
Stockstill, however, refuses to hand Crosby a starting position.
"He has the ability to start as a freshman, but it's up to him," Stockstill
said. "I won't hold anything back, you can be sure. How he handles it is up
Roscoe Crosby Bio |
First-team USA Today All-American, Clemson's first first-team selection by that publication since 1989...first-team Parade All-American...ranked as the number-one receiver in the nation by rivals100.com...#1 wide receiver in the nation by Mickey Plyler...the number-two flanker in the country by USA Today.com and Max Emfinger...a Max Emfinger All-American...#8 overall player in the nation, regardless of position, by Tom Lemming...#20 overall player in the nation by SuperPrep...#3 receiver in the nation by Superprep...#1 player in South Carolina by SuperPrep...chosen to South Carolina prep football All-Decade team...one of the top 100 athletes of the century in South Carolina according to the Spartanburg Herald...Player of the Year in South Carolina according to USA Today...Player of the Year in the Carolinas according to Charlotte Observer...Player of the Year in the South by the Orlando Sentinel...Mr. Football in the state of South Carolina as a senior...selected to play in first National High School All-Star game in Dallas...two-time consensus all-state in South Carolina....caught seven passes in 2000 Shrine Bowl, helping South Carolina to a convincing victory....named high school player of the Year in South Carolina by the Greenville Touchdown Club...had 77 receptions for 1590 yards and 22 touchdowns in 15 games in 2000, he led his team to its second straight state championship...had 82 catches for 1516 yards and 27 touchdowns in 15 games as a junior...named an honorable mention All-American by USA Today in 1999...also a College Football news top 100 as a junior...Union High went 28-2 and won back-to-back state titles his junior and senior years..also a standout baseball player who is a potential first-round pick in the June draft...hit .561 with nine home runs as a junior...played his high school football for Mike Anthony....born 2-6-83, he signed with the Tigers one day after his 18th birthday...chose Clemson over Florida State, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Auburn.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger and the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9.