As expected, Visalia (CA) College of the Sequoyias cornerback Andru Stewart found just what he was looking for this weekend at the University of Arkansas on his official visit.
So Stewart (5-11, 190) quickly became the Razorbacks' 25th commitment of the 2009 recruiting class.
"It's just great here," Stewart said before leaving on Saturday. "Great facilities, great coaches, great players. It's a great place. I got a chance to watch (film on) what they are doing on defense and it excites me."
Stewart came into the weekend expecting to commit to Arkansas.
"I think Arkansas is a school that will provide me with a great opportunity to play my best against the best players and teams college football has to offer," Stewart added, "and to play before 70,000 or 80,000 or 90,000 fans and play in games that not only will decide the SEC title each week, but ones that will decide the national title."
Stewart – a mid-term graduate who took an official visit to Memphis last weekend – is the son of former NFL player Michael Stewart, who played 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins from 1987-1996.
He is coming off a sophomore season in which he had three interceptions, forced four fumbles and blocked two kicks while playing in 6 games for the College of Sequoias (5-5).
"I feel like I come into each game prepared and focused to make plays to help my team win," Stewart said. "I feel like my coverage skills are very good, that I also do a good job in the run game and that I just do a really good job of thinking the game and looking at what is coming next."
Stewart was a high school receiver and defensive back who played his high school football with Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and USC tailback Marc Tyler at Westlake Village (CA) Oaks Christian.
That's an affluent area that is home to such luminaries as actors Will Smith, Cuba Gooding, Kurt Russell and Charlie Sheen, rapper Dr. Dre, actresses Heather Locklear and Amanda Bynes, golfer Greg Norman and former NHL star Wayne Gretzky to name a few.
"That was a great time and I learned a lot about football and the way the whole recruiting process works," Stewart said. "Those are some great guys and it was a great place to be from."
His matriculation to College of the Sequoias was not about grades – he sported a 3.0 grade point average and scored 1590 on his SAT – but about a limited amount of offers.
He had an offer to Cal-Poly and interest from several other schools, including an offer to walk on and later earn a scholarship at Tennessee.
"I just wanted to come to Sequoias and work hard and get better and see what might come my way after that," Stewart said. "I think it turned out to be a great decision for me."
This time around he had offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Minnesota and Temple.
Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson - who coached Michael Stewart at Fresno State - was the lead recruiter on Stewart.
"He came out to our school, looked at my highlight tape and told me that he was extremely interested in me and I told him that I was extremely interested in them," Stewart said. "He seems like a great guy and a great coach who really knows what he is doing."
Stewart believes the level of competition has raised his game.
"I like to say that our conference is the SEC of junior colleges," Stewart said. "We have five schools that are just powerful and it's just great football and has really gotten me ready for the next level. I think it has gotten me ready to make an impact right away."
Andru's a Razorback
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