Stewart Set to Transfer to UConn

Former Xavier High School standout linebacker Graham Stewart of Middletown, Conn., has decided to transfer from Florida to Connecticut.

Florida announced Friday that Stewart, who played in all 12 games for the Gators on special teams last season, had decided to transfer because he wants to be closer to home. Stewart told The Hartford Courant Saturday morning that he has an unofficial visit to Storrs scheduled for next week and he plans to transfer to the Huskies.

"This is the most excited and happy I've been in a while," Stewart told The Courant.

Stewart becomes the first player recruited by coach Will Muschamp to transfer from the program. The Florida coach announced Stewart's intention on Friday.

"Graham has told me he wanted to leave to get closer to home due to some personal issues," Muschamp said in a statement. "Family always comes first with me, and he needs to be closer to his family. I'm thankful for his contributions to our team and wish him nothing but the best of luck. He will always have my support and backing if he needs any help in the future."

Stewart made one tackle as a freshman but made a big play against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl when he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.

When Stewart played at Xavier he listed UConn as his first choice but committed to Boston College. When he received an offer from Florida, Stewart changed his mind and ended up with the Gators.

Stewart said his decision, based on personal reasons, is final. He told the Courant he hopes to get a hardship waiver to play next season. In the case the waiver is not approved by the NCAA he would sit out one season and be a redshirt sophomore in 2013.

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