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October 24, 2001

IW Q&A with John Stocco

John Stocco, a 6-3, 179-pound quarterback from Holy Angels High School in Richfield (Minn.), is a solid possibility for Wisconsin to fill its spot for a quarterback in this year's recruiting class. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last week that he was down to two schools, Minnesota and Wisconsin, but Stocco refuted that story in a Q&A with IW Wednesday night. Here is what Stocco told IW's Ronny Whitworth:

IW: How is your season going so far?

Stocco: It's good. We just ended our regular season. We ended up 6-2 overall, 5-2 in our conference. There actually was a four-way tie for first place and we were one of the teams. That's pretty awesome. So we got the No. 1 seed in our section. We had a bye. Everybody played last night, but we had a bye. This Saturday we play (our first playoff game).

IW: How have you done individually this season?

Stocco: I've done alright. I haven't thrown for as many yards as I have the past few years. I'm just barely over 1,000 (yards passing). I think I have seven touchdowns and five interceptions, but I'm not really sure. We have three really good running backs, so we've been running more than we've been passing. I think I've only been throwing it 12-15 times a game.

IW: You've been described by some people as a "pro-style quarterback." Is that accurate? Do you like dropping back and throwing, or how would you describe the way you play?

Stocco: I'm probably more of a drop-back passer, but I'm a good scrambler too. I've been told one of my best qualities is that I throw very well on the run. I think I'm kind of in between. I don't have great speed, but I've got pretty good speed. I think I'm kind of in-between pro style and the scrambling type.

IW: What's your fastest 40-time?

Stocco: 4.74.

IW: The Star-Tribune quoted your coach as saying you're down to two schools. Is that accurate?

Stocco: Not really. They kind of took that off on their own. I haven't ruled anyone out yet, but Minnesota and Wisconsin are my top two. It will probably come down to one of those two, but I haven't ruled anyone out yet.

IW: When exactly did Wisconsin offer you a scholarship?

Stocco: It was at the Spring Game.

IW: Was that your only trip to Madison?

Stocco: Actually, the summer before my sophomore year, I went to the football camp out there. I kind of saw a little bit, but it wasn't like they were recruiting me back then or anything.

IW: So you didn't catch their eye back then?

Stocco: Oh no, they had no idea who I was at that point. My coach wanted me to go to a camp, so I just decided to go out to that one. I saw a little bit, then they invited me to the Spring Game after a couple of years.

IW: Minnesota offered you a few weeks ago. Was it a surprise to you at all, that they didn't offer you beforehand?

Stocco: I kind of thought they would be the first to offer since they probably have had the opportunity to see me the most, but that kind of surprised me that it's been this long. But it doesn't really bother me. I'm probably going to wait for awhile after the season anyways to figure this all out.

IW: The Star-Tribune also said you don't want to take all five official visits. Is that accurate?

Stocco: Coach (Mike Pendino) doesn't know where they got that from. They misquoted him.

IW: Well I'll get the truth out there for you. Do you want to take all five visits?

Stocco: I don't know. I'm going to stay close to home, so I don't know if I necessarily need to take an official to Minnesota. It may end up only being a couple, but I guess I don't know.

IW: Have you set an official visit to Wisconsin yet?

Stocco: Kind of. Not officially yet, but I'm more than likely going to go on Dec. 1, the first (official visit) weekend.

IW: What are you feelings about Wisconsin right now, both positive and negative?

Stocco: A positive thing is the coaching staff. They've been really cool, really nice to me. I don't know, I just like them a lot, and it's close to home, yet it's not too close which is a good thing. I guess one of the only bad things would probably be, I'm not sure what my opportunities would be for playing time. I'm not sure about that, but other than that, I like everything. Oh, and they don't have a baseball team either. I was thinking about trying to do both. That's one of the bad things about it. I guess they have a talent team or something.

IW: How about Minnesota? Have they been a favorite school of yours, growing up in the state?

Stocco: Not really, when I grew up I never had one team that I just loved. It's not really anything like that. It's just, I want to stay close to home and Minnesota is the best you can do. And they have a pretty good baseball program and a pretty good football team.

IW: Have you been to any Wisconsin or Minnesota games?

Stocco: No, I went to a Gopher game last year, and I'm going to go to an upcoming Gopher game pretty soon. I'm not sure if I'm going to go to a Wisconsin game.

IW: Were you thinking about going when they play each other two days after Thanksgiving?

Stocco: Oh yeah, definitely. I'm definitely going to go to that one. That will be a good one.

IW: How about, the winner of that game gets a verbal commitment?

Stocco: Uh, I don't think so. I shouldn't leave it up to that.

IW: Do you know what you want to major in?

Stocco: No, I don't know yet.

IW: Other than football and baseball, do you play any other sports?

Stocco: Last year and freshman year I played basketball, but I'm not going to play it this year. I'm just going to relax, lift and get ready for baseball.

IW: What have Jim Hueber and Jeff Horton had to tell you about the quarterback situation at Wisconsin that you mentioned earlier?

Stocco: (Horton) keeps telling me he's going to give me a chance and he's going to make me the best I can be. Other than that, they haven't really said anything about it.


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