Over the course of his recruitment, Stewart and Terps coaches developed a friendship-like relationship. Frequently speaking to defensive coordinator Don Brown, the recruit spoke emphatically on Coach Browns treatment of him throughout the recruitment process, They treated me like family, Stewart continued, We did not only speak about football, but about my life and how I was doing as well.
Maryland displayed a strong, multi-angle pitch towards Island Coast High Schools star defensive end; beginning with playing opportunity. Despite playing defensive end in high school, Terp coaches recruited Stewart at outside linebacker, a position in which they feel he can excel at, I didnt think I was going to get the chance to play early; but they have two injured linebackers, and two graduating seniors, so I should get an early opportunity to get some real playing time, explained Stewart. The soon-to-be outside linebacker isnt concerned about changing positions at such a late point in his football career, Im a speed rusher. Maryland likes to rush the quarterback a lot and blitz, so the transition should be smooth for me, said Stewart.
Coach Brown also reassured the recruit that he would fit in well with the Terps defense, They told me that I would be used as a hybrid player, Stewart commented. Because I am so quick off the ball, they can really put me anywhere on the outside, and I am going to fit into the defensive scheme.
Also very important to Stewart decision was the schools academics, I may be going to school to play football, but I am a student first. Ive been blessed with this opportunity. I get to play at a school with great football, and gain a degree from a top-notch university, said Stewart. In addition to these many factors, the recruit fell in love with the college park campus as well, I love the school. I really like how everything is together, close, and clean. Its truly an unbelievable place, Stewart explained.
When asked what made Stewart stand out to the Maryland coaches, he quickly cited his speed and hands as his best assets, The coaches love the way I get off of blocks and get to the quarterback, Stewart added. They also loved my speed; not only in pass rush, but in coverage as well. The recruit boasts impressive numbers, including his rare 4.6-second 40-yard dash linebacker speed. Listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Stewart plans on using his uncommon size-speed combination to his advantage at Maryland.
Many coaches and recruiters have compared the recruits talents to that of former Maryland, now San Diego Charger pro-bowler, Shawn Merriman, He is definitely someone I want to play like, said Stewart. I want to make a big impact just like he did.
Stewart plans to catch the Maryland versus Florida State football game on November 30th with his mother. As for next year, Stewart couldnt be more excited, I cant wait to step out onto that field and show how proud I am to be wearing the Terps uniform.