On National Signing Day, Missouri signed an outstanding safety prospect from the metro-east in the St. Louis area, in Ka'ra Stewart 6'0" 190 O'Fallon (IL). Stewart is an explosive athlete who made an impact on both sides of the ball, as well as in the return game, at the prep level. He chose Missouri over offers from Air Force, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, and Purdue, among others.
As a senior, Stewart starred on both side of the football, and was a First-Team All-Conference selection following a season in which he rushed for 428 yards and 5 TDs on 41 carries, an average of 10.44 yards/carry, returned 2 kick-offs for TDs, and registered 35 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries, 1 of which he returned for a score, and 2 interceptions.
Stewart played his senior year at O'Fallon under Coach Brandon Joggerst after transferring in from Fork Union (VA) Military Academy, where as a junior he was a Second-Team All-State performer, registering 62 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions, both of which he returned for TDs. He also excelled in track and field, where he has a career best triple jump of 43'11".
Stewart, whose parents Ka'Ra Stewart and Janice Davis are in the Air Force, plans to study pre-pharmacy at Missouri.
Missouri Assistant Coach Cornell Ford was the primary recruiter on Stewart.
"His first three years of high school, Ka'Ra Stewart was in military school in Virginia," said Coach Ford. "In military school, he was responsible for 30 other students, to make sure that they did things right. That says a lot about him. His family is in the military. His mother just got back after Thanksgiving from Afganistan. He's a great, great kid! He's very, very special! He played both sides of the ball. He'll knock your block off, and when the ball touches his hands, he can make special things happen. Interceptions, he ran back for touchdowns. Fumbles, he ran back for touchdowns. Kick-off returns, he ran back for touchdowns. He's special on both sides of the ball!"
Missouri Assistant Coach Alex Grinch talked about Stewart.
"Ka'Ra Stewart is a great athlete," said Coach Grinch. "The military background is exciting, too. His film, carrying the football, you see just how athletic he is."
JP's Take: Ka'Ra Stewart is exactly what you look for in a safety prospect. He is a great athlete with very good speed who uses it well in pass coverage, but is also physical and plays like a linebacker in run support. Ka'ra can cover a lot of ground, is a big hitter, and has great ball skills and hands. He excelled as a returner in high school, and may be able to contribute to that end in college. Most definitely a very good special teams player.