Defensive end/tight end
Colleges interested: UTC, MTSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, Iowa State, ETSU
Coach's quote: "Courtney's a good athlete, a hard worker, and he has the potential to be a big-time college football player." - Chad Grabowski
Red Bank two-way standout Courtney Stamper is the No. 9-ranked college prospect among area high school seniors. The linebacker and defensive lineman also will play some this year at tight end and could show up in the backfield. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder recently sat down with the Times Free Press before the start of his final prep season.
Q: It has been hinted that your role will change this year, that you'll have offensive responsibilities and you could show up as a receiver, a fullback or even quarterback. Any thoughts there?
A: "Offense is still a little new to me. I played a little as a receiver in middle school, back when I was skinny, but I've been used to hitting people, not getting hit. I have told the guys, though, that I will take a hit."
Q: Is there a person out there who has influenced your life and your sports career?
A: "My dad went to prison and has never been around, but my uncle, Leon Cope, has always been there. I think he went to Howard. He often talks about Howard anyway. My uncle has always pushed me to do my best in everything, and he's always talking about getting my grades: 'No matter how good you are, you've got to have your grades.'"
Q: Do you have a favorite food?
A: "I love steak, but I only eat it once a month or so. I could eat meat loaf every day. I have never watched her make it, but when my mom says 'Food's ready' I jump up, wash my hands and fix my plate and, yeah, I usually go back for seconds. Oh, and [teammate] Malik Davis's mom made fried Oreos one night last year as part of a pregame meal. I could eat those all the time."
Q: It appears that at least your next four years will involve football. Do you play other sports, and what do you see yourself doing after football?
A: "I started playing football as a 4-year-old and I got hit, so I quit -- didn't play again until I was 9. But I started in basketball last year, and although I haven't played baseball since middle school (first base/pitching) I might like to play this year since it's my senior year. I'd like to own my own business eventually, maybe auto mechanics."
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.