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April 27, 2012
As a 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide receiver from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, it may sound strange to hear that Demorea Stringfellow picked up his football work ethic from a defensive lineman.
That is until you find out that the defensive lineman was the Class of 2010's No. 1 player from the same high school, Ronald Powell.
"My freshman year people were telling me that they saw something in me that they saw in him," Stringfellow said. "It made me want to be the best, just like him.
"When you see someone working that hard and then you see it paying off it is easy to follow that example. Sometimes when I feel like I can't do something or don't want to do something I can look at his example and keep going."
Come June 22-24 Stringfellow will be taking that drive with him to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta.
"I want to go out there and work my hardest," he said. "I hope to learn something that I never learned before that helps me get better."
Stringfellow says that he and Powell stay in contact and are like brothers hanging out when Powell is home on breaks, but now his role models have shifted to more familiar position players.
"(Gerell) Robinson at Arizona State, (Lavasier) Tuinei from Oregon and (Sammy) Watkins from Clemson," Stringfellow said. "Those are the guys in college I watch a lot, but I like Chad Ochocinco in the NFL."
It is those players attitude toward the game that he likes, and says that all great receivers should have.
"You have to be selfish to a certain extent," he said. "As a receiver you have to have that kind of mentality but really any good football player should want the ball, should want to make a good block, and should want to be the best at their position."
Currently Stringfellow is ranked as the No. 14 receiver in the country and the No. 107 overall player in the country. Those are both standings that he hopes to improve on at the invitation-only camp, combine, and 7-on-7 event.
"I want to move up," he said. "Rankings aren't that important but I want to move up."
He acknowledges that the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge may be the perfect place to showcase his skills and push toward the top of the rankings; the fact that this will be a collection of only the top tier players in America was not lost on him.
"These will all be the best players," he said. "So I know that I will probably win some reps and probably lose some of them, too. The great thing is that there won't be any wasted reps going against guys everyone knows you should win the rep. If you don't get open or don't make the catch you can go right back up against the best, so I like that."
He also likes that he will be catching passes from the top-ranked quarterback in the country, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline quarterback Max Browne.
"Receivers have the advantage in this type of an event anyway," he said. "But getting to be on the same team and the same page with him should make me dominate."
Mike Farrell's take
Stringfellow is a tall, angular receiver who hails from the same school as the nation's top player in 2010, defensive end Ronald Powell, and he has the same drive to be the best and make a big name for himself. He has that quiet confidence and he is a tough matchup for cornerbacks because he has height, good size and he can go vertical for the ball. Seeing him against the array of cornerbacks we will have at this event will be fun and it is his chance to prove that he's one of the best in the country at his position.