LB Picks Miami

Demetri Stewart entered his senior season as 16-year old linebacker that had never played linebacker before. Coaches from around the country offered him a scholarship and earlier today he announced which university he will be attending. His final three choices were Auburn, Miami, and Oklahoma.

Demetri Stewart (6-4, 208) is a senior at Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Florida. His team name is the Hurricanes so it was only fitting he would stay close to home and play his collegiate ball at the University of Miami.

"I based my decision on getting to play early along with the academic program as well as the athletic program," Stewart said. "I felt comfortable with the coaches and players and I chose Miami for that reason."

Tight ends coach Mario Cristobal recruited Stewart to play for Miami and the two have formed a positive relationship in the recruiting process.

"Our relationship is real, real good," Stewart said. "I talk to him before and after the games. He is a cool person and is the most easy-going, straight-to-the-point guy, which is a good thing."

He has been timed at a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash and through eight games he had recorded 95 tackles—an average of 11.9 tackles per game. Although he had good numbers, the team did not have the season they had hoped.

"We didn't have the kind of season we wanted to," Stewart said. "Right now we are 4-4 and we lost a couple games that we should not have lost. Things could have been a lot better."

Stewart played on the varsity team as a 13-year old freshman. He played free safety before growing into a defensive end prior to his senior season where he primarily starred as a linebacker, but did play some fullback.

"There is a tremendous amount of untapped potential," head coach Adam Rackiwitz said. "Some people that expected him to be Zach Thomas or Dick Butkus because of the offers he had when they saw him initially the first time he had ever played the position."

Stewart, who just turned 17 in September, is younger than most of his peers because he moved to the United States from Jamaica in 1997. The school system was more advanced in Jamaica and he was ahead of his American counterparts so he skipped the fifth grade and enrolled in the sixth grade.

"He is a kid with tremendous academic ability wrapped up into a kid with good grades and character," said Rackiwitz.

His favorite two linebackers in the NFL are Ray Lewis and LaVar Arrington. He enjoys the attitude of Lewis and Arrington's big hit capability. He described what he brings to the table.

"Being physical and coming up to make a hit," Stewart said. "I am real good on learning things fast and that is probably why I played varsity high school at 13 years old."

Stewart has some ties to some current Hurricanes on the team. He knows Quadtrine Hill from Sunrise Piper, Baraka Atkins from Sarasota Booker, and Jon Beason from an all-star game.

"They all are real cool," said Stewart. "When we went down on an unofficial visit coach Coker and Cristobal asked Demetri what his goals were this year," Rackiwitz said. "Coach Cristobal told me afterwards that it was one of the best answers Coker had ever gotten."

Most kids would talk about themselves but Demetri talked about leading by example, lead the team to a championship, and stay committed to academics throughout the recruiting process.

"This is a guy that UM believes will be an NFL first-round draft pick someday," concluded Rackiwitz.

OTHER COLLEGE COACHES SAID

According to Rackiwitz:

* Syracuse defensive backs coach R. Todd Littlejohn, who coached at UCLA, told the Northeast coaching staff in the spring, he can play safety in the pac-10.

* Purdue defensive coordinator, Brock Spack, sent all three of his linebackers to the NFL last year said Demetri in the spring at 16 had more physical tools than any of those three linebackers when he recruited them out of high school at 17 and 18.

* A lot of the Big Ten schools believed his size and ability to run would allow him to grow into a 6-5 or 6-6 pass rushing defensive end.

* Miami hasn't ruled out the safety position, but sees him more as an outside linebacker.

* Auburn and Oklahoma saw him more as a will linebacker.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

Canes Time Top Stories