Cody Stufflebean, TE/DE, 6-5, 242, McPherson
The Kansas Football Coaches Association picked their All-State teams December 8th and 9th, including their Top 11. Kansas Pregame is providing capsules for each of the Top 11 selections. Check out McPherson end Cody Stufflebean's capsule below, and head to the KFBCA website for details on the annual coaching clinic coming up January 31st and February 1st.
Cody Stufflebean, TE/DE, 6-5, 242, McPherson
McPherson High School football is at its golden age, and Cody Stufflebean is a big reason why.
The past four seasons, McPherson has won 40 games and reached the 4A Sub-State Championship the past three years. As a defensive end and a tight end, Stufflebean was a force on both sides of the ball.
The 6-5, 242 pound senior will stay in state and play for Kansas State next year. Stufflebean had offers from Virginia Tech, Colorado, and Wisconsin among others, but committed to Kansas State shortly after receiving an offer from the ‘Cats.
For his career, Stufflebean finished with over 100 tackles and 14 sacks. In 2019, Stufflebean caught six touchdown passes. On special teams, Stufflebean was a force blocking punts, including one against Winfield that a teammate returned for a touchdown.
Stufflebean is a three-sport athlete and currently a starter for the McPherson basketball team. In the spring, Stufflebean is a standout in javelin on the Bullpup track team.
McPherson coach Jace Pavlovich on Stufflebean: “Cody is a special kid. He is a leader by example. Cody is a three-sport athlete that competes hard in everything he does. He has the respect from everyone he meets because of the level of humility he displays on a daily basis. He is a 4.0 student in the classroom and a model citizen in the community. Cody will be majoring in Engineering at KSU as well as handling the responsibilites of a scholarship athlete on the football team. I cannot think of a more deserving kid to be among the best football players in the state of Kansas."
Check out Stufflebean's highlights from the Bullpups' win over Buhler in October:
Stufflebean was also one of our coverboys in August. Check out his "Big Men On Campus" feature by Conor Nicholl that appeared in our 2019 Fall Football Preview below:
Cody Stufflebean’s family are long-time K-State fans. His mother, Ali, has a baby picture of Cody in a K-State jumpsuit on the bed.
“I could like barely sit up,” he said.
Stufflebean’s aunt is a K-State grad, and he has attended football and basketball games, including the Sunflower Showdown. He also watched McPherson’s Taylor Robertson, former Gatorade POY and Miss KS Basketball, face K-State last winter during a standout freshman season at Oklahoma.
June 9, after a quick rise up the recruiting rankings, Stufflebean, a standout end and three-sport athlete, committed to the K-State.
“That’s what the family’s always been,” Stufflebean said. “I had a pretty good idea if I was offered that’s where I was going to go.”
The athletic Stufflebean delivered 47 tackles, eight for loss and three sacks as a sophomore. Last year, he delivered 33 stops, 13 TFLs and seven sacks. Stufflebean earned all-conference in basketball and was fifth in the Class 4A javelin with a throw of 176 feet.
In May he posted impressive weight room totals with a 455 squat, 300 in bench and 325 in clean. Known for his intelligence and quiet personality, Stufflebean also has a 4.5 GPA.
“He is an extremely humble guy,” senior linebacker Mason Thrash said. “He is not the dude that walks around and ‘Oh, I got an offer from K-State,’ just pushing it in our faces. He is always humble, never brags to us. He is a hard worker, an extremely hard worker.”
McPherson had its best start in more than 90 years, went 11-1 and lost to Goddard in the 4A semifinals (in 2018). Mac has never made a state final in football program history, but have four sub-state title berths, including 2008, ’17 and ’18.
In April, Stufflebean was listed at 6-foot-4, 231.6 pounds at the Sharp Performance Combine. At that point, he had attended junior days at Emporia State and Kansas State. At the combine, he ran a 4.35 pro agility, jumped 9 feet, 2 inches in the broad jump and went 30.9 inches in the vertical. He also bench pressed 225 pounds 12 times.
Akron, with two assistants with Kansas ties, called the following Monday and offered a scholarship. Ohio came in the next week.
“My freshman year, I never really thought that I would be seeing myself in a D1 position, but obviously I have changed physically, got a little bigger, more aggressive and here we are,” he said.
Stufflebean gained more recognition and reported offers from Ohio, Fort Hays State, South Dakota, Kent State and Toledo between April 16 and April 25.
“It started to blow up,” he said.
Then, Virginia Tech became Stufflebean’s first Power 5 offer on May 6. McPherson College football coach Jeremiah Fiscus sent Stufflebean’s film to Virginia Tech. VT’s Adam Lechtenberg was recruiting some junior college prospects, and the Hokies eventually offered. Air Force and Army offered in mid-May, followed by Wisconsin, May 23, and K-State, June 2. Colorado offered June 6.
“It’s kind of nice to not have that anymore,” Stufflebean said of committing to K-State prior to last season.
Stufflebean has helped the Bullpups consistently rank among the state’s top defenses. In 2015 coach Tom Young retired, and Jace Pavlovich, a nine-year assistant and former d-coordinator, took over. McPherson went 75-22 with Young, who retired after 343 career wins and titles at Hanover, Wellington and Derby.
“He is a real good guy, he is always about having fun,” Thrash said of Pavlovich.
Veteran assistant Chet Harlin took over the defense from Pavlovich. In ’15, the Bullpups went 5-4 and permitted 18.9 points a game. In ’16, McPherson was 8-3 with 11.8 allowed a game. In ’17, a 10-2 mark yielded just 8.7 points allowed per contest followed by 10.5 last year. Harlin runs the McPherson weight room and focuses on the agility work outside of practice. Thrash led the team with 62 tackles and had seven TFLs. Junior Brycen Labertew also returns after he delivered 45 stops and six TFLs.
“Our defense is definitely going to be the strong suit of us, which it generally is, but this is going to be a very good one,” Stufflebean said prior to the season.