Steward finished his senior year with 2,221 yards rushing and 27 TDs on the ground, and he had 24 receptions for 376 yards and 2 TD receptions. After he led his team to a 13-0 record and a Class 5 State Championship, Steward was named the Class 5 Offensive Player of the Year in Missouri, and unanimous First-Team All-State.
As impressive as Steward is on the field, he's perhaps more impressive off of the field, a tribute to his parents, Robert and LeSa Steward.
Morgan started all 52 games for Coach Fred Bouchard in his four years at Staley, and leaves as the school's career rushing leader, with 4,184 career rushing yards and 46 rushing TDs.
As a junior, playing primarily the fullback position, Steward rushed for 1555 yards, and 14 TDs, after which he was named Second-Team All-State.
Missouri Assistant Coach Andy Hill, who was the primary recruiter on Steward, talked about how Morgan committed early, and then did not receive any more recruiting from other schools.
"Morgan Steward played fullback as a junior," explained Coach Hill. "What that really allowed us to do, we saw him carry the football enough on junior video, but we saw hit people, and block, and do tough things, and catch the ball out of the backfield as a fullback style guy, that we said, "Hey, this guy's an all-around back!" That was really impressive! In a way, it really helped us evaluate him. Because a lot of times, you get a tailback, and you don't know if he can pass-block, you don't know if he'll hit anybody, blocking somebody…………………………………………….. That was a real good evaluation tool for us. Had he not committed early, and had he gone through the recruiting process all of the way through the fall, he would have had a lot, lot, lot more coaches calling him up, and (recruiting him)."
"He comes from a great family," said Coach Hill, continuing to talk about Morgan Steward. "He's a phenomenal young man! And, I think he's an all-around back. I really do."
I asked Missouri Offensive Coordinator, David Yost, to tell me about Morgan Steward?
"Morgan Steward is an explosive, physical running back," said Coach Yost. "His junior video was impressive! He can put his foot in the ground and go. When we were evaluating him, I thought he was as good as any guy that we looked at. And, when he committed to us, I thought he was as good as any guy we've gotten, on just purely watching his video, for what we ask our guys to do in our offense, as close as he is already. He's really quick, and he's fast. He puts his foot in the ground and plants, and can change direction and go. He's not a jitterbug. He doesn't take fifteen moves before he goes. That's big in our offense. The other thing is, he runs tough. He finishes runs. Very seldom does he ever get taken back when he's running the football. He finishes the run. That's something that Coach Jones does a great job with our guys. A lot of high school backs don't do that. They're used to just kind of going down when they're hit. He has that already. Then the other thing, there was blocking on his junior video, when he played fullback. He hit people and knocked people back as much as anybody I've ever seen. He seemed to like it! In our protections, we're going to use him in protection, he's not going to shy away from contact. He's got all of the things you want in a back. He's got them all! We expect him to come in and compete early on."
JP's Take: Morgan Steward is probably the second best overall athlete in the 2012 class in the state of Missouri behind a guy named Dorial Green-Beckham. He is a guy who runs a legit 4.4 forty, vertical jumps 38", runs a sub 4.0 shuttle and had the strength to push up 185lbs 24 times at the Show-Me Combine last year and the US Army combine in San Antonio last year. He is also an elite track athlete who will compete for a state championship in the 100 meters. Besides all that, he gets it done on the field using those athletic gifts to their fullest. He has good size for a running back, but has the skills of some of the better smaller running backs with his elusiveness and cutting and change of direction abilities. He is also great at his stop/start acceleration. It's something you have seen out of Henry Josey, and while I am not comparing the two, Morgan is similarly a guy who has that type of burst and can go from a dead stop to full speed in a the blink of an eye. Add to that his physical toughness to run between the tackles, blocking ability which helped his QB run for over 2,000 yards, and receiving ability comparable to an elite wide receiver, and you have yourself a complete running back. I think you can expect to see Morgan in the tailback rotation as a true freshman if he comes in prepared.
Greg's Take: Steward is a well-rounded back with a great burst and great vision. He's an effective blend of both speed and power. He's also a very good receiver.
Morgan Steward Senior Highlights