Varsity Preps

Meet 2014 RB Andre Stoddard

What do you get when you cross extreme athleticism, toughness, speed, and strength in a 5’10, 220 lbs body? You get the all-time leading rusher in the state of South Carolina, Andre Stoddard. This player profile means a lot to me, as Andre and I have developed a great relationship over the course of his recruitment. Andre is from Greenville, SC, which is known as a big time football town, mostly due to the heated rivalry of the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. Although the college football in the area is superb, the local high school football creates one of the most vivid atmospheres in the country every Friday night. The lights are beaming down in the stadiums, the crowds are fired up, the cheers can be heard a mile away, and who are they there to see? Football standout Andre Stoddard.

Andre is known for putting on a show for St. Joseph’s High School every game, racking up 2,750 Yards and 40 Touchdowns, on 303 carries, averaging a whopping 11 Yards a carry last season. He is the talk of the town in Greenville, being in every newspaper, website, news highlight, etc. you can get your hands on. The people of Greenville really take pride in having Andre as part of the community, as not only a football star, but a great person, as well.

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One person that has been personally affected by Andre is a child named Drew Sharp from Greenville, also. Drew is a 9 year old boy that has been through more tragedy than any child should ever experience. When Drew was a child, he was attacked by a dog, and has spent countless hours since then having his face and body restored with plastic surgery to repair the damage the dog left on him. One day, Drew saw Andre doing a news interview and thought it would be cool to meet him. Andre instantly took Drew under his wing and has mentored him ever since. Stoddard says that he “hangs out with him every chance (he) get(s)”. He also had this to say about his friend Drew: “He is one of my biggest inspirations. Having him in my life teaches me more about life than I could ever teach him.”

Andre uses that inspiration he receives from Drew on what he does best: play football. As I stated earlier, Stoddard rushed for 2,750 Yards and 40 Touchdowns, on 303 carries, including 3,200 All-Purpose Yards last season, which is the most in South Carolina history, even breaking USC great Marcus Lattimore’s record. He is able to complete these milestones by maintaining great strength, quickness, and athleticism. He has tremendous build, being able to bench 355 lbs, and squat 540 lbs. He also runs a 4.52 40 yard dash, which is great for his size.

Last year personally, he was one of the best in the nation stats-wise, but how did his team fare? He told me that St. Joseph’s went 8-4 0n the season, while losing in the 2nd round of the tournament to the future State Champions. Andre had this to say about his team: “We all work together. Everybody has a role on this team. One player can’t do it on their own. Some roles are bigger than others, but at the end of the day, it’s always a team effort. We win as a team, and we lose as a team.

While Andre broke numerous records, and put on a show every game he played in, he is known as one of the “under the radar” recruits in the country. While getting interest from various schools, Andre only has two offers from Furman and Presbyterian college. “I go to a private catholic school, and most schools overlook me because I don’t go to a big public school. In South Carolina, the public schools are bigger, but the education isn’t as great as private schools in the area. I didn’t want that, so I decided to go to St. Joseph’s because they are ranked nationally for academics and gives a great education.” This explains his lack of major offers, but he later explained that he hopes several come at the end of the summer. One offer in particular is the one he’s been waiting quite some time for.

Despite rumors of other schools being his favorite, he actually denied this and told me his #1 is the University of Kentucky. He will be visiting UK tomorrow, and he told me he his beyond excited for this visit. He told me that he will be “working out for the coaches first, and then receiving a full campus tour after.” I asked him if a commitment is likely if he were to receive an offer on his visit and he said “Most likely yes. I love what they have going on right now, and I love the direction Coach Stoops is taking the program. I think I’d be a great addition to UK Football. I’d love to join the 2014 Class of Commits.” I asked him how likely it is that an offer does come, and he sure does sound confident. “I think it is very likely. If I go out and perform the way I’m capable of performing, I shouldn’t have an issue with getting an offer.”

The All-Time Leading Rusher in the state of South Carolina joining a backfield of Braylon Heard, Jojo Kemp, Mikel Horton, and Stanley Williams? It looks like the University of Kentucky has their eyes on GOLD in the future running the ball. Make no mistake about it, Andre Stoddard is the real deal, and will make headlines no matter where he decides to attend. As always, stay tuned here at VARSITY PREPS for the latest news on football recruiting.

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