Washington Back Has Host of Suitors

Olympia, WA is home to one of the top running backs in the country in 2004. 5-10, 218-pound Jonathan Stewart already has a couple of offers and many more are likely on the way. Will the Irish have a shot at Stewart?

Jonathan Stewart is a special player. He's got the rare gift of great size and speed. At 218 pounds, he recently ran a 4.40 in the 40. "I rushed for 2, 603 yards and 36 touchdowns last year," said Stewart. "As a sophomore I rushed for 1,528 yards and 15 touchdowns, but I was hurt some of the year. My coach tells me that I remind him of O.J. Simpson on the field. My other coach says my balance is one of my best attributes."

So far two schools have stepped up with offers. "Washington and Washington State have offered. I've heard that Notre Dame and Oregon are also close to offering. I'm getting mail for schools all over the country."

Is Stewart interested in Notre Dame? "I haven't really thought about it. It's a very good school. I've also heard it's a hard school. They have a good history there. It might be difficult because it's far away."

We asked Stewart if he wanted to stay closer to home. "I'm kind of iffy about leaving because of my Mom. I don't want to leave her here. We are both leaving it all up to God. We're praying on it and we'll see what happens."

His Mom will also play a large part in his decision. "She'll be there to help me make my decision. She says she doesn't care about me staying home. We'll see what happens with that, but she'll be there to help me with my decision."

Stewart is also a solid student. "I think I have a 3.4 in my core. I haven't taken my test yet. I think I take that in April."

Don't expect a decision any time soon. "I'm going to take my time and pray on it. I want to find a good school that has my major (physical therapy). I also want to check out the depth charts. I'd like to play early. Probably by my sophomore year. I plan on taking all my visits and deciding sometime towards the end."

Comments: Stewart will probably be one of the top backs in the country this year. The Irish have some selling to do if they want to land his signature. He seems pretty open right now.

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