McDonogh's Stukes chip off the old Colts block

October 05, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Some of the nation's finest Division I college prospects spent this summer on the football camp circuit schmoozing with college recruiters.

Not McDonogh senior Dwayne Stukes.

"I'm not the kind of guy who goes to a lot of camps. I just relaxed a little," said Stukes, dubbed a preseason All-American by SuperPrep Magazine.

Not that Stukes, an All-Metro last season, was a couch potato for three months.

"I ran some, lifted weights and worked landscaping to earn money," said Stukes, who bench-presses 280 pounds. "I had time to ease some of the stress."

No one's lining up to call Stukes a slacker. He had, after all, covered a lot of ground for the Eagles -- nearly 3,000 all-purpose yards for 23 touchdowns entering his fourth starting season.

Last year was the most prolific for Stukes, who used his 4.4-second 40-yard -- speed to score 13 touchdowns. He had 92 tackles (44 solo), five interceptions and five forced fumbles, and made 258 yards worth of receptions and rushed for 691 more.

So far this season, Stukes has 209 rushing yards for five touchdowns, nine receptions for 119 yards, 22 tackles and three interceptions. He's played running back, wide receiver and kickoff and punt returner for No. 3 McDonogh (3-1).

And the season is just four games old.

"I'm playing at cornerback this year, like my father," said Stukes, son of former Baltimore Colt Charlie Stukes. "I like cornerback because you get to hit people more."

Stukes is as skilled at avoiding a hit as he is at delivering one. Take, for example, McDonogh's last two games, a 34-0 shutout of Episcopal and last weekend's 54-0 blowout of St. Paul's (3-1).

Against Episcopal, Stukes returned a punt 75 yards for one score and an interception 72 yards for another, ending the game with 267 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns, four tackles and two interceptions.

He had three touchdowns and finished with 210 all-purpose yards and eight tackles against St. Paul's, scoring on a 48-yard run, a 35-yard interception return and a 77-yard punt return. Last year against St. Paul's, Stukes scored the game-tying touchdown in a 7-6 decision.

"The blocking from my teammates has been beautiful on my runs," said Stukes, who carries a 2.8 grade-point average. "I'm coming off of a shoulder injury, but now I'm at 100 percent."

McDonogh began this year ranked No. 1 before losing its season-opener, 25-14, to Potomac of Prince George's County. But the Eagles rebounded, beating their next two opponents by a combined 123-6.

Saturday, McDonogh faces No. 9 Mount St. Joseph (4-0), whose head coach, Mike Working, was the Eagles' coach for three years until transferring to Mount St. Joseph last spring.

"It'll be strange playing against Coach Working, but I've got a new coach now," said Stukes. "It's going to be a high-energy game."

Stukes, who has met NCAA requirements for freshman eligibility, has been contacted by Clemson, Maryland, Wake Forest, Duke, Florida, Boston College and Michigan.

"One of the great things about him is that he's a team player. He'll do whatever you ask, without question," said McDonogh's first-year coach Dom Damico. "He's got an incredible work ethic and does so many things well at this level. He's a multiple threat."

It's been that way since his freshman season when he led the Eagles with 32 receptions for 767 yards and six touchdowns, earning honorable-mention All-Metro honors.

As a sophomore, Stukes had several brilliant moments as a free safety, slot back and wide receiver, including a 92-yard interception return against Mount St. Joseph.

A second-team All-City/County pick that season, Stukes caught 24 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns, rushed 31 times for 260 yards and had seven interceptions as McDonogh won its last five games to go 7-3.

"I feel like I've played well so far," said Stukes, "but I have a ways to go to be where I want to be."

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