Stewart Sets UNC Official

North Carolina pledge M.J. Stewart has scheduled his UNC official visit.

Stewart, a 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back from Arlington (Va.) Yorktown, has tentatively scheduled the official trip for the weekend of Nov. 30. UNC hosts Duke that Saturday.

"I'm going to be an early enrollee and everybody else is [taking their official visit] in January, but I couldn't do it in January," Stewart said. "So why not do it during the Duke game?"

The official visit is a mere formality for Stewart. He has made countless visits to Chapel Hill, including two games and one overnight stay.

The overnight stay occurred a couple of weekends back when Stewart attended the UNC-Boston College game.

"It was all arranged by me and some of the players," Stewart said. "I talked to some of the players previously and arranged with them to have me stay the night."

Stewart spent the most time with fellow defensive backs Desmond Lawrence and Tim Scott, but he also hung out with Bug Howard, T.J. Logan, Donnie Miles, Jabari Price, Ryan Switzer and Brian Walker.

"They're real cool," Stewart said. "The whole night they really looked out for me. I feel like it's been easy to bond with them."

Stewart says the overnight visit had little effect on him.

"I committed for a reason," Stewart said. "There's no looking back now. Even if I didn't get a chance to stay overnight, I still wouldn't have felt any different towards North Carolina. It was just nice to hang out with the place. I knew I made the right decision from the moment I made it. Even if I had a bad time, it wouldn't have affected my decision."

The game was Stewart's second at UNC, but first this season. He attended the UNC-Maryland game last season. The main difference Stewart noticed between this season and last was the addition of a DJ in the student section during pregame warm-ups.

"That was kind of cool," Stewart said. "I've never seen it before and I can't wait to have a DJ playing for me when I'm getting ready to play in a game."

UNC came out with the 34-10 victory over Boston College and then proceeded to defeat NC State, 27-19, this past weekend. Despite the two-game winning streak, the 2013 campaign has been rocky for the Tar Heels.

"Everybody sees it's a rough season, but if you think about it all but the South Carolina game we beat ourselves," Stewart said. "Georgia Tech game, we had two touchdowns called back that could have won us the game. East Carolina game, we had miscues in the secondary. Virginia Tech game, we should have won that. Miami game, everybody knows we should have won that one.

"So we really should be 7-1 or 6-2 instead of 3-5."

Outside of a high ankle sprain, Stewart has been happy with how his senior season has gone so far. Yorktown is 8-1 and Stewart has rushed for 1,387 yards and 24 touchdowns on 137 carries (10.1-yard average). What doesn't necessarily show up on the box scores are his contributions at defensive back, which is where he's projected to play for UNC.

"I train extensively as a DB," Stewart said. "I do no training as a running back. [My offensive accomplishments] are all God-given ability. Everyday I'm working, working, working on DB – rain, snow, whatever. I'm actually pretty good at DB, but that doesn't show up in the stats."

Stewart has rushed for at least 120 yards in every game except for the one he suffered the ankle injury. He sat out the game that followed, but returned to Yorktown's lineup part time last Friday.

"[The ankle injury] is getting better every day," Stewart said. "I honestly didn't expect it to carry on for this long – I thought I just rolled my ankle and after a week I'd be just fine. I tried to run on it a week after it happened and I actually couldn't run on it. And then I progressively started to run on it. But my cuts aren't back where I wanted them to be. I'm not 100-percent, but I'm able to play."

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