Stewart Has Irish Offer

One of the top recruiting priorities for the 2005 class will be offensive line. The Irish will likely take at least five offensive linemen in this next class, and a player they'd really like to land is Klein, Texas native, Chris Stewart. The 6-6, 315-pound offensive tackle prospect already has some impressive offers from top schools. Do the Irish have a shot with Stewart?

Offensive lineman Chris Stewart is already a hot prospect among college coaches.

I have around seven offers," Stewart told Irish Eyes. "(Texas) A&M, Texas, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Purdue and Texas Tech are some of them.

"Schools like LSU, Florida recently came into the mix, Miami, Oklahoma and Illinois are also recruiting me."

Not only is Stewart a top prospect, but he should have no problem qualifying either.

"Yeah, I guess I'm a pretty smart guy," Stewart said with a laugh when told him we've heard he is also a top student. "I have a 4.9 g.p.a on a 4.0 scale. I took the SAT, but I don't have the results yet."

Stewart has used this spring to go visit a few of his top schools already.

"I went to junior days at UT (Texas) and (Texas) A&M," he said. "I really liked it at both places."

The top offensive line prospect spent his early years in Mississippi before moving to Texas. We asked Stewart which football team he cheered for growing up.

"I actually grew up a Notre Dame fan from Mississippi," he said. "I grew up watching Notre Dame. I've always liked them."

We asked Stewart what it felt like to receive an offer from his childhood favorite.

"It was disbelief," Stewart said. "I had to pinch myself a few times. My family really thought it was an honor. It's a pretty good accomplishment because it's a very good school.

"I talked to coach Weis and coach Haywood from Notre Dame. I really liked them both. Coach Weis is a really impressive guy. I don't know that much about (the new coaching staff), but coach Weis has a long history of winning. He went on the Super Bowl run so he knows how to win."

We asked Stewart what his plan was for recruiting this year.

"I've given it some thought and I'll probably decide sometime in the fall," Stewart said. "I'll probably take a few unofficial visits this spring and summer. I might go to a few camps as well. I'll try to get as much information I can before I decide."

And what is Stewart looking for in a school?

"The school atmosphere will be important," he said. "The prestige of the school will also be important. My final decision will probably be on the head coach and what type of person he is."

With many of his offers and top schools outside of Texas, we asked Stewart if distance from home might be a factor in his decision.

"Not really, although the Texas schools have a lot to offer," he said. "I'll just choose the best school for me—wherever I feel the most comfortable."

Comments: Stewart said he was thinking about taking an unofficial visit to Notre Dame. We feel that will be Notre Dame's only shot at landing him. He does like the Irish, but we think the in-state schools will be difficult to beat. The Irish coaching staff will likely have to get him on campus soon to have a real shot at Stewart. Top Stories