Last summer, USC defensive line coach Jimmy Lindsey worked closely with DT Dion Stutts (6-3 250) of Memphis during a summer camp session. Lindsey put Stutts through his paces and made several corrections, which Stutts adopted. Based on what he saw that day, Lindsey made Stutts an offer. The two have stayed connected and the next step is for Stutts to come in for a game.
“Our relationship is pretty good. I went down there in the summer and got a great tour of the town and school,” Stutts said. “They answered all my questions and I loved it. I got an offer at the end of it. I’ve talked a little bit with the coaches. They’re trying to get me up there for a game but I live in Mississippi, and it’s a long drive, like nine hours, but I might shoot up there one weekend. He’s got my parents’ number and he contacts them and checks up on them. It’s a good connection we have.”
Stutts went into that camp looking to impress the Gamecocks, and he recalls that his all-out effort did not go unnoticed by Lindsey.
“They like my attitude and my effort,” Stutts said. “In the camp, I was going all out, putting out all I had, and I was able to do what they taught me. When they corrected me, I was able to put back in what they said and use it and succeed. They say I’m like raw material so they can shape me into a good thing for a program.”
In particular, Stutts said Lindsey likes how he can handle a hard charging running back.
“I have a good run-stop,” Stutts said. “In my school, I play defensive end and I’ve been working on my hands a lot and I have good strength even though I go against heavier guys. I know how to play to my advantages like my speed, or if I’m going against someone small, I can use my strength. They like my run-stop. This season they want me to work more on my pass rushing skills, which I’ve been doing a lot of.”
Last weekend Stutts visited Mississippi State. He’s also been to Ole Miss and Memphis for games. He is going back to Ole Miss this weekend and will visit Alabama the following weekend. He’s also hearing from Arkansas and Kentucky. Stutts was also recently contacted by Clemson defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall.
“We just started,” Stutts said. “He was interested in me coming up there for a game. I have to see if I can. It’s a long drive there, too. I’ve got to see what my parents will do.”
Along with USC, Stutts has offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Liberty and Austin Peay.
Through seven games this season, Stutts has 21 tackles. Last season as a sophomore, he had 36 tackles with 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a fumble recovery.