ELIJAH STALEY BIO
Wheeler High School (enrollment 2,100)Sports:
Football (quarterback), basketball (forward), track and field (triple jump, 100, 200, 4x100)College plans:
Staley originally planned on heading to Vanderbilt, then changed course in the spring and opted for Mississippi State.
"I was their No. 1 recruit for football," Staley said. "Head coach Dan Mullen has coached two Heisman Trophy winners. They have two or three other quarterbacks there now, so I'm hoping to come in there, work hard and compete for a position.
"On the basketball side, Rick Ray has been recruiting me since he was at Clemson my freshman year. The campus is beautiful."
Schools all over the ACC, SEC and beyond were in pursuit of Staley for both sports.
In terms of two-sport prowess, Staley mentioned former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner and star guard Charlie Ward as a source of inspiration. But LeBron James and Cam Newton – another Georgia native and super-sized quarterback – are his favorite current performers.Family rivalry:
Staley has three brothers and a sister. One of those brothers happens to be former Georgetown standout and 2008 NBA draft pick Patrick Ewing Jr.
Still playing professionally overseas, Ewing Jr. has been a big mentor for Staley.
"He's always been there helping me out," Staley said. "I used to be in awe of him but now I kind of go at him with a cocky attitude and try to show him I'm better than him."SEC smack:
Staley played against two future SEC defensive ends with the Wheeler football team last fall in Carl Lawson of Milton (soon-to-be freshman at Auburn) and Class of 2013 No. 1 recruit Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson (Mississippi).
How about this to fuel the fire in future Egg Bowls?
"Carl is a beast, he sacked me twice," Staley said. "Nkemdiche never touched me."