When you think of St. Louis, Missouri, the first thing on your mind is the Gateway Arch, the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company and the infamous rap group named the St. Lunatics, whose leader was Grammy Award winning Nelly. The St. Lunatics were formed in the University City high school which is one of the older suburbs in the St. Louis area. While still in high school, Nelly formed the St. Lunatics, who enjoyed local popularity with their single “Gimme What Ya Got”. When a major record deal failed to appear, Nelly decided to go solo. This is when University City high school began to get recognition from outsiders. Well there is another young kid who is hoping to one day put the school back on the map. That is David Bass Jr., my next Diamond in the Rough member.
On 9/11/1990, David Bass Sr., and his loving wife Mardell were blessed with their first child. David Sr., had always wanted a son to pass on his legacy to, and it didn’t take long to come up with a name for their son. David Sr. immediately passed his name along with many other core values to his son David Jr. While September 11th is a very emotional day for everyone in the United States, David Bass Jr., not only remembers the incident that brought America closer together, he also celebrates his birthday.
“I was all excited for my birthday until I entered my sixth grade Social Studies class; everyone was watching the news. After watching the news my day changed, I thought it was so terrible but I really didn’t know why it was going on.” – Bass
When David Jr. was just a 3 years old, his mother and father were blessed with another child, Darrian. David didn’t know that he would eventually become the father figure in his brother’s life. At the age of seven years old, David and his brother would find out news that would crush both their souls. They had been informed their father David Sr. was involved in an accident. After several hours fighting David Sr. would lose the fight, leaving Mardell and her two sons to get by on their own. Mardell had lost the love of her life, but knew she would have to get through this with the strength of the Lord, for her sons.
“My mother has always been there for me, she is the one that signed me and my brother up for football, because she knew that is what my father would have wanted for us. He didn’t want us sitting around the house playing video games.” – Bass
David signed up to play football for head coach Duane Hawthorne at University City High School. David was a talented three-sport athlete in basketball, football and track and field. Bass was second team all-conference as a tight end and defensive end. At 6’5, and 260 pounds, young David Bass Jr. was beginning to draw interest to play college football. David was named the Fab 25 Demetrius Johnson football award for one of the four best defensive linemen in both Missouri and Illinois. David was opening the eyes of football scouts across the state.
“Four teams offered me a scholarship to play defensive end, Missouri Western, Central Missouri, Washburn, and Northern Iowa. After taking a visit to Missouri Western and meeting coach, I knew I wanted to play for the Griffons. It has been a great decision for me.” – Bass
It was an easy decision for David, he was on his way to Missouri Western University a division two school located in Saint Joseph, Missouri about 300 miles from his mother and brother back at University City. In 2008, he had to redshirt as a freshman, but in 2009, David would wreak havoc at defensive end for the Griffons. He had a solid redshirt freshman season starting all 12 games, finishing the season with 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, and 6 ½ sacks. David was named the 2009 Mineral Water Bowl Defensive MVP as he recorded seven tackles, had 2.5 tackles for a loss with 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception in the Bowl Game.
As a sophomore David started all 12 games for the Griffons at defensive end. He accumulated 47 tackles amassed 10.5 tackles for a loss with 8 sacks. He finished his second year campaign as a 2nd Team All-MIAA selection for the Griffons. David was starting to create a buzz around the state of Missouri and the MIAA. He was developing into a solid MIAA football player. Bass was showing he had a lot of speed and talent, that will allow him to get better every time he steps on the field. He was using his long arms, which caused problems for opposing quarterbacks, and was becoming a great leader on and off the field.
Last year David once again started every game. He finished the season with 55 tackles, and broke a school record with 20 tackles for loss. He recorded 14.5 sacks which led the conference and left him one-half sack short of the single season school record. He tied a school record for most sacks in a game with 4 which he accomplished twice his junior year, and was named MIAA Defensive Player of the Week twice. David racked up tons of awards his junior year including the following.
2011 Award List
• Don Hansen Football Gazette First Team All-American
• BSN First Team All-American
• All-MIAA First Team Selection
• Daktronics All-American
• AP Little All-American Second Team
• D2Football.com All-America First Team
• Daktronics First Team All-Region
• First Team All-MIAA defensive end
• 2-time MIAA Defensive Player of the Week
• Once named D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Week
• Don Hanson First Team All-Super Region Four
“I had several goals going into my senior year, I want to win a Conference Championship, National Championship, and be more productive this year than I was last year. I want to make my team better.” – Bass
The dream of one day becoming a National Football League player was coming to fruition. David’s teammate Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein, the Griffons kicker began drawing tons of attention from NFL scouts. Greg was drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round. David had always one day dreamed of playing in the NFL, and when he began seeing the NFL scouts at practice he realized that his dream could become a reality if he can keep it up.
“After my father passed away, I knew I wanted to play in the NFL. He is the reason my mother put in me in football and sports, so I want to fulfill the dream for both my mother and my father. I hope I can pave the way for my brother as well, by making sure he knows everything I know and more.” – Bass
David entered his senior year looking to build on his 2011 season’s success. David also was surprised this year when his brother Darrian joined him on the Griffons as a DE/OLB. With the Bass brothers having a competitive nature, they began pushing each other, to improve. Remember David was just a sack and half short of single season record for the Griffons (29). In David’s second game of the season he broke the record versus William Jewell. David has been a force on the edge, facing double teams and chip blocks from the tight ends of the opposing offenses. David already has 6.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks on the season. He is currently leading his team in sacks, and opening eyes all around the NFL. There has already been 20 plus NFL teams that have traveled to watch David at practice.
“When I talk to the scouts, I’m going to tell them I am a positive person, and I always try to make people around me better. I play at 110 percent every snap even in practice. I would rate myself just as good at the best defensive ends in the 2013 Draft, besides going against the better level of competition. I can read and react to plays I have size and speed, so I put myself right up there with them. “- Bass
Not many people know about David Bass Jr., but how many people knew about Cornell Haynes, Jr.? David Bass Jr. is hoping to make the same impact for his school as Cornell did for University City High, but instead of hits like “E.I”, “Country Grammar” and “Hot in Herre”, David has a few hits of his own, “QUARTERBACK HITS”.
NFL Draft Zone would like to wish David Jr., the best of luck his senior season and hope he does fulfill his dream. If you would like to find out more about players like David make sure to follow us on twitter @NFLDraftZone . Damond Talbot is our lead writer for the site and can be followed on twitter as well @drocksthaparty .