MCGILL: Scarcelle Finds Perfect Fit, Home in Huntington
The Word on the Herd -- April 11, 2018
By Chuck McGill
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – As a walk-on wide receiver, and the Marshall football program’s only player from the state of Pennsylvania, Stone Scarcelle has made it a mission to stand out.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound freshman from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, first did this last August during preseason camp. As a true freshman, Scarcelle flashed the potential of a player who could immediately be involved in the mix as a pass catcher. Then, during a Saturday practice on a sunny day, he landed awkwardly out of bounds attempting to make a catch and fractured his left elbow. He missed the 2017 season, used a redshirt and began working his way back.
“He reminds me of me,” said Marshall receivers coach Dallas Baker. “He’s going to have a little chip on his shoulder and he’s going to work hard.”
Scarcelle has shown he is a consistent, steady receiver this spring, Baker said. Scarcelle had football scholarship offers to Patriot and Ivy League schools after a standout career at Spring-Ford High School in Royersford, Pennsylvania, but wanted to pursue opportunities at the Division I level.
“I wanted to see if I could make it,” Scarcelle said.
He caught the eye of assistant coach Todd Goebbel and impressed head coach Doc Holliday, and received an invitation to join the program as a walk-on during a visit to campus.
“From the moment we walked on campus we fell in love with the place,” said Mike Scarcelle, Stone’s father. “On our seven-hour drive back to Pennsylvania he had made up his mind that he didn’t want to look at anything else.”
Stone was born at Phoenixville Hospital, which is about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Stone has a distinctly Philadelphia accent, and grew up idolizing Eagles great Randall Cunningham because Cunningham, like Stone, was a quarterback who moonlighted as a punter. Stone played QB, running back, safety and cornerback, too, but found his home at receiver. The Marshall coaching staff is happy about that development.
“He has nice size,” Baker said. “He’s willing to block. That’s the thing with blocking; everybody can block, it’s if you want to. He’s willing to block; he’s willing to go across the middle. When you piece everything together he’s a really good receiver.”
That caught the coaching staff’s eye last August, too, before injury struck. Stone put in the extra effort to leap and reach for a ball that initially looked uncatchable, and he ultimately fell harshly to the ground on his left side. His first collegiate season ended before it began.
“It was hard mentally, but you have to push through it every day,” Stone said. “It’s been a long road, but you have to have the mindset to go your hardest and it’s not going to bother you. It was just a freak accident.”
The redshirt season did not go to waste. Stone watched a talented trio of starters – Tyre Brady, Willie Johnson and Marcel Williams – break out in their first full seasons with the Herd. That gives him hope that he, too, can find a role right away.
“I really sat back and observed everybody’s actions,” Stone said. “I took in the speed on the field, learned the plays and got my body right. I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and I feel like mentally the strength coaches do a great job of getting you mentally tough so you are prepared to fight through the pain.”
If you’re wondering, there is no back story to Stone’s name.
“We have about 10 Anthonys in our family,” Mike said. “My wife wasn’t going for that.”
The Scarcelles essentially picked the name out of a hat, and then gave Stone the middle name of Patrick. He also has a younger brother named Blaize. Stone currently majors in Geology, which seems apropos given his name, but after enduring the injury and recovery, Stone has his eyes on an education that would steer him toward athletic training or the medical field.
Stone studies football, too. His father calls him a gym rat, and Stone immerses himself in watching film. He believes he was meant to flourish in the offense of first-year coordinator Tim Cramsey, a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles from Stone's hometown.
“He's a local guy to me," Stone said. “I love the offense. It’s a perfect fit.”