Basketball season is starting across the country and the nation’s top prospects are breaking in their new kicks, learning more about their teammates and reintroducing themselves to help side defense. Not Stefan Welsh. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior guard from Woodside High School in Newport News, Va., is trying to help his football team win a state title.
The wide receiver/defensive back/combo guard is one of the more athletic players in the class of 2006 and he’s utilizing his strength, good hands and speed on the gridiron. Welsh said he’s reeled in 14 touchdowns and six interceptions for his 8-2 football team as they head into the first round of the playoffs this weekend.
In fact, he’s so good on the football field, Welsh said he’s heard from the likes of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, UConn and Syracuse already.
While he’s shining on the football field, Welsh said his heart is on the hardwood. Making it a point to stop by the gym after football practice, he hasn’t lost his shooting touch, which is one of the biggest attributes for the No. 58 ranked player in the nation.
“I still get in the gym and shoot around and work out doing some agility drills but for the most part I’m just trying to get into basketball shape,” he said.
When he’s in full basketball shape, he’s a talent to watch. A number of schools have been trying to get into the mix with him. Welsh is claiming offers from Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Xavier, Arkansas, Clemson, Maryland, NC State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia and Old Dominion.
Miami, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, DePaul, Penn State and Florida State are also inquiring he said. With all of those programs showing some form of interest, there is one program that stands out at the present time, he says.
“I’m really liking Xavier a lot right now,” Welsh said. “I like what Sean Miller is doing there. They give their guards a lot of freedom in their system and I like that. I’m open to everyone but Xavier is really sticking out.”
Once he joins his hoops team, Welsh said he’s ready to get back to improving his game.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do if I want to come in and play as a freshman,” he admitted. “I know that. My footwork, my quickness and jump shot all need work.”
Welsh, a four-star prospect, said he’s looking forward to playing Oak Hill Academy (and Tywon Lawson) on Jan. 22 at The Battle of the Bay.