With Signing Day less than a week away, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic senior wide receiver Donald Stewart knows the time to decide on a school is quickly approaching. Down to Michigan and Stanford, the Garden State standout hosted several Wolverines coaches for an in-home visit earlier this week.
“On Wednesday, Coach Don Brown, Coach Fisch, Coach Partridge and Coach Harbaugh all came over and had a conversation with my parents, my little brother, my little sister and I,” Stewart told The Michigan Insider. “The message was basically that they wanted me to come there and whatever choice I did make if I went there or to Stanford, they would support me 100% and I will always maintain a relationship with them over the course of the year.”
The 6-4, 205-pound Garden State wide out views Michigan positively in many aspects including their emergence in New Jersey, which he has definitely taken notice in.
“The pros with Michigan is that it is a great academic school, rich football tradition and I think having the largest living alumni base in the country, which allows me to network with people from everywhere and I think that means a lot,” said Stewart.
“I think (the New Jersey pipeline to Michigan) plays a factor a little bit because I have grown up with Rashan (Gary), Kareem (Walker), Michael Dwumfour… I have grown up with all of them literally since the 6th grade. To have the opportunity to play with them since 6th grade leading all the way up to graduating and possibly graduating college together, I think would be something special and something very unique that not every kid has a chance to do with their friends. I do think it has a little bit of a factor.”
The Wolverines have plenty of fire-power coming in at the wide receiver position with several already committed, so while the high number expected to be coming to Ann Arbor could be concerning to some, Stewart knows Harbaugh is just looking to have the best competition at each spot on the field.
“The thing at Michigan is Coach Harbaugh’s plan is to just get the best players at each position,” said Stewart. “He wants the best guys that will compete and help the team ultimately win a national championship. At receiver, it is tight and they have some guys committed, but if I was to go to Michigan, I would be the X receiver. The plan according to Coach Harbaugh would be to have me on one side and Ahmir Mitchell on the other side to learn from Darboh and Chesson. That would be the plan right there.”
Stewart noted that this journey has been very enjoyable getting to visit programs all over the country and create many relationships, but now he’s ready to end the process and hopefully make a decision very soon.
“Hopefully tomorrow if not Sunday,” said Stewart. “I’m talking to my parents about it right when my dad gets home and I’m trying to decide tomorrow or Sunday. I’m going to call the coaches tomorrow to let them know. I’m still torn and have to talk to my parents tonight and tomorrow morning. The main factors will be life after college, definitely academics and third would be playing time.”
When Stewart does come to a decision on his future, his little sister might be a tad biased of where she’s favoring him to go, but knows his family is completely behind him and any choice he does make.
“My little sister is a diehard Michigan fan,” said Stewart. “She absolutely loves Michigan and she is already committed to Michigan for swimming. She got admitted and everything, but so you know she is 8 by the way (laughter). Anyways, I think my whole family has had my back the entire time and everyone has kind of embraced this journey. No matter where I go, everyone will support me. I’m glad I have all these people in my corner to talk to and just want the best for me.”