Ohio linebacker talks commit to Navy

Navy landed Matt Stewart of Mason, Ohio after extending an offer to the 6-foot-1, 220-pound inside linebacker at a June camp. Stewart had previous offers from Air Force, Buffalo, Kent State, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Wofford, but the visit to Annapolis sold him on becoming the second player to commit to the Midshipmen Class of 2014.

Navy landed Matt Stewart of Mason, Ohio after extending an offer to the 6-foot-1, 220-pound inside linebacker at a June camp. Stewart had previous offers from Air Force, Buffalo, Kent State, Louisiana-Lafayette, and Wofford, but the visit to Annapolis sold him on becoming the second player to commit to the Midshipmen Class of 2014.

"First off, the coach staff at Navy is amazing," Stewart explained to GoMids.com. Coach Ken Niumatalolo has a great program. I was fascinated by the tradition that surrounds the academy. I wanted to be a part of it. I've always wanted to go into the navy and becoming a fighter pilot.

"I was offered by Mike Judge on June 21st and I committed the next day. I told Coach Niumatalolo and Coach Judge my decision [to commit] and they were both really pumped about it. They welcomed me to the brotherhood."

Stewart attends William Mason High School where he has been a two-year varsity starter for the Comets under head coach Brian Castner. Navy inside linebackers coach Steve Johns is getting player with a load of enthusiasm to plug into his unit next season.

"The coaches told me I'm a solid player with a strong passion for the game," he said. "I went in to camp hoping and praying I'd come away with an offer. They love how I stay with the play and chase the ball down. They said they were looking for guys like me who they thought would fit in well in the program.

"I'm looking forward to playing for Coach Johns. He's a tough coach but also a great guy so there's a good balance there. There's a lot I'll be able to learn from him to improve my game."

At Mason, Stewart plays middle linebacker in a 3-3-5 defense. He recorded 60 tackles and two sacks last season helping his team to a fifth place finish in the Greater Miami Conference in 2012.

"I started out at fullback as a sophomore," Stewart stated. "Then I moved to linebacker and fullback as a junior and that's what I'll do this year. I've improved my speed since last season. I'm faster sideline-to-sideline and my strength has improved allowing me to make wrap up tackles more efficiently. We have huge running backs in our conference so I've been working a lot on my tackling techniques in the off-season."

Before his commitment to Navy, Stewart made unofficial visits to Air Force and Kent State. He reports a 3.75 GPA and says he plans to retake the ACT so he'll be able to go directly into the academy with a better score.


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