January 30, 2023

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Diamond in the Rough: Donato Stepney

Donato Stepney is a class of 2023 ATH out of Scranton High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is 5’11 and weighs around 180 pounds. Donato plays wide receiver on offense, but is getting primarily recruited for his defensive ability in the secondary. On defense, Donato plays cornerback. He is athletic, aggressive, physical, and has a high football IQ. Donato does a great job of reading coverages and the quarterback’s eyes while staying with his receiver. Physically, Donato is not afraid to run downhill and make a tackle, especially in the open field. While watching his film, I noticed he has great techniques and is a fundamentally sound football player. On the offensive side of the ball, Donato is a very athletic receiver with soft hands and great route running ability. He has tremendous footwork skills, excellent speed, and uses his speed to stretch the field. As of right now, his max squat is 335, max bench is 225, and max deadlift is 385. He currently has a 3.7 GPA.

1. What age did you start playing football? 

“I started playing football when i was five years old”

2. What is the best aspect of your game?

“The best aspect of my game is my ability to read the field quick and make a play on the ball or a big hit”.

3. What is your personal goal for this season?

“Goals i set for myself on the season are :1,000 receiving yards, 500 rushing yards, 5 Interceptions, and give 100% everyday”.

4. What have you learned about yourself while playing football?

“I learned that football is more than a game. Football can teach you life lessons, grow you as a better individual, create great bonds, and challenge you everyday to see if you will break or continue to grow”.

5. Is there anything specifically you worked on this past offseason/summer?

“Over the summer I really hit the weight room to get stronger. I also worked out with my friends and former teammates that are in college. They helped me increase my speed and footwork. Everyday we would go to the field and work until we get down to what we are working on perfect for the day”

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Donato’s Twitter handle

6. Describe a time when you might have experienced some type of adversity?

“I’ve been facing adversity my whole life. My dad has been locked up for basically all of my life. People wouldn’t like me for who I am. Teachers telling me I wouldn’t do anything with my life. All it does is motivate me to prove to myself and people who doubt me to make it farther than everyone else in life”.

7. Football aside, who you would say is your biggest role model/ someone you look up to?

“I never really had a role model or looked up to anyone, but if I did it would most definitely be my mom. I watched her struggle and go without anything just to make sure my sisters and i always had a roof over our heads, food to eat, and a bed to sleep. I watched her go through plenty of rough times and no matter what she always came out of situations and thanked God with a smile”.

8. Do you play any other sports?

“I also play basketball and run track”.

9. Are there any NFL or college players that you like to watch and study their film? 

I like to watch Jalen Ramsey, Sauce Gardner, and Xavier Rhodes. I used to always watch how Xavier Rhodes breaks down film study to recognize a play or even if a guard is pulling, which helped me a lot with my game.

10. What separates you from the thousands of others trying to play division I?

What makes me different is my mentality. I may not be the fastest, strongest, or the best, but I will work 100% everyday and every play to get there. I am very smart on the field and will learn anything in one day. I’m very coachable and do what I’m told to do . Also, I can play multiple positions on the field so wherever they need me I can do it.

11. What is something that you would want college coaches to know about you?

I want to have a strong relationship with the coaching staff, so if I feel like I need to talk to them about something they are there for me. I want to be pushed not just on the field but in the class and to be a better man. I am very respectful and understanding.

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