An Interview With Travante Stallworth

Submitted by TomVH on December 18th, 2008 at 10:33 AM

The recent happenings at Auburn have left a few of their commits looking for possible new homes. Louisiana receiver Travante Stallworth is still committed to Auburn, but will be taking visits to both Michigan and South Carolina. He's 5' 10" 180 pounds, and runs a 4.4 40. He's a dual threat quarterback for his high school, and has been recruited as a wide receiver by every school but one. Take a look at which school that is after Stallworth's highlight video:

TOM: So are you still committed to Auburn, since you’re now looking at other schools?

TRAVANTE:  Yes sir, I’m still committed to Auburn.

TOM: When did you decide you wanted to start looking around?

TRAVANTE:  I decided last weekend to take visits, when I found out who the new coach was. I just wanted to look at new schools, and make sure I was still in the best place.

TOM:  Was that the main reason, or was there anything else?

TRAVANTE: Well, they fired the staff too, and I was real close to the TE/WR coach. I haven’t talked to anybody from Auburn since. My recruiting coordinator got fired, but he called me yesterday. That’s the only person I’ve talked to.

TOM: So what schools are you most interested in right now?

TRAVANTE:  I’m highly interested in Michigan, I’m real interested in South Carolina, and I’m kind of interested in TCU.

TOM:  Tell me what it is about those schools that stand out to you.

TRAVANTE: With Michigan there’s so much history. My coach called me two weeks ago and said Michigan is interested, and my eyes got big, because not everyone gets that opportunity. I already know what kind of offense they run, and it’s the same offense we run in high school. With South Carolina it’s still in the south, and kind of close to home. They also said I’ll get a chance to play early. Steve Spurrier is a great coach, and his son is the offensive coordinator. In their offense, they throw the ball a lot, so I like that.

TOM: What position are you being recruited at?

TRAVANTE: Everyone is recruiting me as a wide receiver, and Michigan said I can try quarterback if I want.

TOM: Are you going to make an announcement if you decide to choose schools?

TRAVANTE: I’m just trying to wait and see how everything goes, I’ll probably just wait until signing date to see where I’m going to go.

TOM: What if you go to one of these visits, and it blows you away, do you think you’ll make a decision on the spot?

TRAVANTE: Yea, if it blows me away, then yea I’ll make a decision right there. My mom is coming with me on the visits, so she’ll be there to help.

TOM: I’ve seen your highlight tape, and you look good, what do you think the reason some schools are coming onto you late?

TRAVANTE: I don’t know why they came on late. Michigan is just looking for more athletes. A lot of schools don’t have a lot of time to talk during the season, so I understand. I think my commitment had something to do with it too.

TOM: What were the reasons that you originally committed to Auburn?

TRAVANTE: I chose Auburn because it was close to home, my dad is in the military and stationed 30 minutes away. I also have family in Florida, and the last thing was the offense they were running.

TOM: You’ve mentioned a couple times about distance, and the south. Will that play into your decision?

TRAVANTE: No, distance won’t play in to it. I’m a military kid, so I’ve been moving a lot. My other relatives can watch me if I choose Michigan because they’re always on TV.

TOM: What do you say to coaches when they ask you what you bring to the table?

TRAVANTE: I’m a great kid, and I don’t get in trouble. I focus on my school work. I’m not going to be out worked on the field. My coach always tells us not to get out worked. I just want to be the best that I can be, and learn as much as I can.

TOM: What other teammates do you have that are going through the recruiting process as well?

TRAVANTE: Our running back, Michael Ford, he’s committed to LSU. Our safety is committed to Louisiana Tech. We have a LB/DL going to Grambling, and we’re trying to get another wide receiver and corner back to go somewhere. I introduce all the coaches to most of the people I play with, we’re all close so it would be nice to have someone come with me where ever I go.

TOM: When is your Michigan visit, and what are you looking for on these trips?

TRAVANTE: January 9th is the date to Michigan. I’m real high on facilities, and I already know Michigan has great facilities. I want a great degree in case football doesn’t work out. Just how the fan base is, and the people there. I want to play early too, so that will factor in as well.

TOM: A question I’ve been asking a lot of recruits is about Michigan’s losing season. How did that affect you?

TRAVANTE: The losing doesn’t affect me, because Coach Rodriguez is a great coach, and I know how fast he can turn things around. They’re trying to get their players real quick, and once he does they’re going to be real good.

Comments

dankbrogoblue

December 18th, 2008 at 1:02 AM ^

at 5'10" doesn't sound like he'd be a great candidate for outside receiver, and i doubt he'd be a contender for the QB job if he's not even being recruited as one. I'm not saying we couldn't use him, but the need doesn't seem that great (since he sounds like a slot guy, which we seem to suddenly have plenty of).
He does sound like a hard worker though, and a great athlete, which, as far as I'm concerned, means he could end up wherever he's needed.

Thanks once again Tom, for the work you do for us M fiends.

mad magician

December 18th, 2008 at 1:19 AM ^

Sounds like a great kid; I quote "I'm a great kid." Seriously though he's the kind of guy we should keep an eye on as we look to add some depth and put the finishing touches on this years class. And it sure doesn't hurt that in his tape he looks like Stevie B.

Braylons Butte…

December 18th, 2008 at 1:39 AM ^

I assume you've been doing this for awhile...can you talk of the extent of interview bias that you think exists when talking to recruits?

I mean, this guy for example seems very pro-Michigan, but I suspect that when he interviews with a South Carolina journalist, he's equally positive towards them.

If you do this in person or by phone, can you ever tell when a recruit is being genuine, or just playing to the media/fans?

TomVH

December 18th, 2008 at 9:10 AM ^

I do them all over the phone, it's just easier. I actually have a weird problem of analyzing everything that people say, to find out the meaning behind it. So, yes I can most of the time tell when they're being genuine, and just being PC about the interview. A lot of times, the whole interview doesn't make it on here, but if I think they're giving me boilerplate answers I'll ask the same questions in a different way to figure it out. There has been a couple that are really good at hiding it, but it's the little hints that they give away.

With this one, he was the one that brought up Michigan, and how much he liked it. I asked him, "what about those schools do you like?" He started with Michigan, and started gushing, so that to me is a good sign. Unfortunately, you guys can't hear how they say it either, but I look at that too. A lot of times they've been asked the same question, so again I try to ask it in a different way, so they can't just spew out their script.

I also talk to them before hand, and try to make it as comfortable as possible. I've found that once they know they can trust me, and I'm not a total weirdo, they open up more.

I think that he would probably say similar things about Michigan in other interviews, just notice how he says it when you read it.

Jelani Jenkins has been the best at keeping it a secret. He's blown me off 3 times now, but if you read his interviews, he doesn't give any hints towards any specific school. He doesn't mention names, he just mentions his list.

k bizzle

December 18th, 2008 at 2:23 PM ^

but there is rumor he is a soft verbal at Penn State and the coaches are keeping it very quiet to not upset the family. He has made a couple of unofficial visits there as well. All signs point to him going there but anything can happen in recruiting.

joeyb

December 18th, 2008 at 1:43 AM ^

Is he related to Donte'?

Tom, where do you see him playing at if he comes to Michigan, considering his size and the depth that we have at slot now?

Drill

December 18th, 2008 at 4:14 AM ^

For the highlight reel for a QB, there aren't many passes in it. I think I saw two. I imagine that's not a real strength of his and that's (at least part of) why he's not being recruited as a QB almost anywhere (I know, I have amazing powers of deduction). But it would be sweet if we got him for any position, I'm sure he could help out.

And, as always Tom, great job. Thank you!

Aequitas

December 18th, 2008 at 10:01 AM ^

This is exactly the type of kid that Rodriguez desperately needs to fill his team with right now. It looks like TS wants to be known for his work ethic and he clearly has talent.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that he could wear the #1 some day. How cool would that look to go with the other great names who've worn it?

"Michigan WR #1 - Stallworth"

MH20

December 18th, 2008 at 11:03 AM ^

...this kid. Sounds like he has good morals and character. I know it's just one interview, but he sounds very impressive.

Great job again, Tom.

wlvrine

December 18th, 2008 at 11:14 AM ^

A lot of gravel looks the same when you are panning for gold. Which nugget will turn out to be the next Anthony Carter or Desmond Howard? The only way to find out is to bring them up to the next level.

Goblue89

December 18th, 2008 at 12:09 PM ^

Why does everyone think you have to be 6'4" to play at outside WR. Anyone ever heard of Steve Smith? He is like 5'9" and that doesn't seem to be too much of a problem for him. Hell Super Mario was measured at 5'1" at the combine and how did he turn out for us. Yes I agree height is a great thing to have around the goal line for the fade route, but I seem to remember us throwing 0 fades this past season so it seems like a moot point. If you are fast and can catch that is all I care about!

Glen Masons Hot Wife

December 18th, 2008 at 12:23 PM ^

TRAVANTE: Well, they fired the staff too, and I was real close to the TE/WR coach. I haven’t talked to anybody from Auburn since. My recruiting coordinator got fired, but he called me yesterday. That’s the only person I’ve talked to.

Either Auburn doesn't want him anymore, or Chizik's already started to F up the recruiting

and 4.4 forty time? pffffft, more like 4.45!

james stallworth

December 18th, 2008 at 2:24 PM ^

I appreciate the kind words each of you all have said about my son. He is a great kid! I am not saying that because he is my son. We have some standards in my home and just like any other american family we have rules. He has adjusted to everything very well. Since I have been deployed to IRAQ he has taken on the role of being the man of the house and doing very well. He also has a sister attending college and doing well also. He is right about south and wishing everyone to see him play football. But my family will travel wherever HE decides to play football and support him 100% along with my dog (rocky)ha,ha. I want to thank the Michigan faithful for just looking at him and acknowledging the fact that he is a decent person not just a football player. The number one reason for college is a degree and he understands that in advance, wherever he chooses to play. I have always told my son that UoM is a great school and if they ever showed interest in you, that is a school you must look at. Enough, again thanks for taking the time out to look at my son video and know that if he decides to attend the UoM you will have a better person and student rather than a football player.

Thanks again,
Tom, I have not talked or even spoken with you, but I appreciate the interview. I wish you Michigan faithfuls a Merry Christmas and a properous New Year, GOD knows we need it!

James Stallworth

TomVH

December 18th, 2008 at 2:42 PM ^

Mr. Stallworth,

I talk to a lot of kids going through the recruiting process, and your son definitely stuck out. You have done a great job raising him, and I personally thank you for your service as well. Your son has my phone number, feel free to contact me for anything. Looking forward to hearing from you.

papabear16

December 18th, 2008 at 3:19 PM ^

Mr. Stallworth,

I'm glad to see you on here. As a father myself (my boys are much younger), I was immediately impressed reading how well-spoken and polite your son was in the interview. You must be very proud.

Thank you for your service to us all, sir. God bless you and your team over there, stay safe, and have a very Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,
Jason

tomhagan

December 18th, 2008 at 4:04 PM ^

positive comments about Michigan aside...the kid seems to be very thoughtful, analytical and positive... and the name Stallworth has historically conjures up images of fast WRs running for long TDs.

james stallworth

December 19th, 2008 at 6:16 AM ^

Thanks again good people. Tom I will give you a call, I just don't know when. I spoke with Travante and he enjoyed the interview and I appreciate you helping him along the way. I know kids get so scared sometimes speaking with reporters, but my son to my surprise really does not have a problem doing so! I know one thing, you will get a truthful answer and he will speak from his heart and I don't ever think that is wrong when you do so. We have a very strong family and God is the head of our lives and I know he would be a person who can bring nothing but good work ethic and a great postive attitude to whomever he associates himself with; I think he would be a welcome addition to any program. He is his own person and I believe in him making some decisions on his own. This I feel will be one of them! I know he can't go wrong at UoM that's for sure!!!!! To the parent that said " I am sure your proud" sir to you, your right!!! My wife Jalaine and I have instilled some values a beliefs in both of our children and Travante will display this when he comes to visit in January. You will make your own determination from his visit, but you will no doubt see this first hand. His HS school will echo what I am saying and more importantly he will display this with your first impression upon meeting him personally. Tom you sound like a real good man and honest if more people were like you, this world would be a better place. My team in Iraq know all about my family and I will not have a problem saying the UoM is a part of my family as well. We appreciate all Americans and know that nothing we do is ever for us. It's for the country we love so much and people who represent the United States of America. We appreciate all the support you give us, I mean that!!! I will close and thanks again Michigan faithful I know FB is big and I hope one day I can join you all and shout go BIG BLUE.

Happy Holidays,
James
Yes, he is fast. Their track team all run between 10.7 to 10.4 in the 100 meters and that's the 4X100. The 4.4 to 4.5 is good, trust me I was there and thats why Auburn offered right then, he can catch as well.