The Opening: M.J. Stewart Spotlight

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Yorktown High (Arlington, Va.) defensive back M.J. Stewart has a top four and he is close to making a decision. He dished out the latest in his recruitment after the first day of The Opening.

Stewart has a school in the lead, but he's not ready to disclose it yet.

However, in the next few weeks it is possible the nation will know whether he will chose North Carolina, Michigan State, West Virginia or Virginia Tech as his destination.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Stewart visited each of the four programs, sans Michigan State, but is looking to get to East Lansing, Mich. in the next few weeks.

"I'm going to say I'll decide in the next three weeks," Stewart said. "I do (have a leader) but I don't really want to say anything yet."

Stewart said there is a commonality with his four finalists.

"They all have good football programs," he said. "They have coaches that can develop my skills, they all offer college degrees and they all have good social environments."

Michigan State: "They have a good defensive backs coach (Harlon Barnett). The defense is always in the Top 10 in the nation, so for a defensive back like me, I can go up there, and be on one of the best defenses in the nation. It's something they pitch, but it's something to be proud of, too."

North Carolina: "That's been the school that's been on me the hardest. They've been on me since way back when during football season. It shows interest. Other schools are on me, but not as much. North Carolina is on me constantly … constantly checking on me with (direct messages) on Twitter and hitting me up, ‘How are you doing? How was your day?' It's stuff like that.

"I like that I can go there, get a good degree, I like the area and it's a beautiful campus. I have a chance to play my freshman year there, too."

Virginia Tech: "That's another school that's been pushing on me hard. I have a chance to go in there early, too, and compete for a spot. They've been good for a long time. They go to good bowl games every year. Coach (Frank) Beamer, (defensive coordinator) Bud Foster and (secondary) coach Torrian Gray, they've been there a long time."

West Virgina: "I was there a few weeks ago. It was a surprise. I didn't expect it to be like that. I expected it to be country, in the middle of nowhere. It's a small town, but there's a lot of pride in the Mountaineers there. I liked it.

"They have a new (assistant) coach, Brian Mitchell, and he played in the (NFL), so he can definitely get DBs in the League because he knows what it takes to get there. West Virginia is known for offense and they need some help on the defensive side."

M.J. Stewart Profile

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