Stewart Visits Again

North Carolina crammed a good bit into the limited time M.J. Stewart was on campus Saturday for the Tar Heels' Junior Day.

"I got to go into the locker room and see and wear the uniforms," Stewart said. "I got to meet some of the recruits. I got to play Coach [Walt] Bell in pool. And I got to watch the [UNC-Duke basketball] game."

With an SAT Prep Class that afternoon, Stewart, a 6-foot, 175-pound athlete from Arlington (Va.) Yorktown, didn't arrive in Chapel Hill until 6:30-7. By that time, the junior day visitors were partaking in a cornhole tournament in UNC's players' lounge.

After watching a couple cornhole match-ups, Stewart and Bell, his primary recruiter, decided to hit the pool table.

"I beat him," Stewart said. "It came down to him having one ball left and I was able to come back and beat him. I guess I'm alright [at pool].

"It was good to see how his personality is outside of football."

Of the 21 players who attended Saturday's junior day, six were from Virginia – and were some of the nation's top recruits. While in the players' lounge and later in the locker room, Stewart bonded with his fellow Virginians.

"Now I am [close to them], after meeting them down there," Stewart said. "We exchanged phone numbers and Instagrams. My team is actually going to scrimmage Da'Shawn Hand's Woodbridge team this season."

The junior day peaked with the UNC-Duke basketball game – Stewart's first exposure to live UNC basketball.

"Initially, I thought there was a big crowd there," Stewart said. "It was a great feeling – it made me want to go out and play basketball."

Although noticeably tired from a day of traveling, Saturday's visit did nothing but help UNC's chances with Stewart. He has now made three visits to Chapel Hill, including January's junior day.

"I've always been interested in North Carolina, but I'm still open," Stewart said. "I don't have any favorites."

Stewart, who plans to graduate from high school in December, is unsure when he'll name favorite schools.

Besides UNC, Stewart has visited Duke, Maryland, NC State, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

"I'm trying to get to all the other schools that have offered and maybe some more," Stewart said.

Seven schools have offered Stewart, including Duke, Maryland, UNC, Northwestern, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

For Yorktown, Stewart has played cornerback, safety, wide receiver and running back. At his request, Stewart is being recruited as a defensive back.

"I like the ability to change games off of big plays," Stewart said. "When your back is against the wall, you depend on your defense to make a stop to get the offense on the field so they can score."

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