NY LB Looking To Rebound

Stewart Johnson missed his entire junior season as a result of a broken leg. He is looking to come back strong this season and to put to rest any health concerns college coaching staffs may have.

Name: Stewart Johnson
Position: LB, TB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 220 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.67
School: Lawrence Senior High, Cedarhurst, NY

(Interviewed on May 2)

Stewart broke his leg last September while playing linebacker during a scrimmage.  He took an unexpected helmet to the leg, breaking his left tibia in two places and ending his junior season before it officially began.

Stewart also missed 2 games during his sophomore season with a pinched nerve.

"I'm healthy now," Stewart declared.

Johnson is healthy and back playing at full speed.  He will play linebacker and tailback for Lawrence High this season and has much to prove.

Stewart attended the Nike Camp at Penn State last month in an effort to show that he is 100% recovered from his injury.  He worked out with the running backs and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds.

Stewart was unable to attend the Blue-White game.

Johnson also participates in track and recently ran the 100 meters in 11.4 seconds.  His fastest 100-meter time was 10.9 seconds last year.

Stewart describes himself as "aggressive, flying to the ball, playing until I hear the whistle."

It appears as though many college coaching staffs are waiting to see how Stewart rebounds from his injury last season.  He does not yet have a scholarship offer, but he listed "Penn State, Boston College, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Temple and Arizona" as teams interested.

"We just got a letter from Joe Paterno," Stewart's father said.  "All the other ones came from his son, Jay, the recruiting coach."

Stewart has attended summer camp at Penn State the last 2 years, and plans to return this summer.

"He's going to go to Penn State's camp," his father continued.  "We're going to shoot for that or Boston College.  We're going to try to go to both, but the day Boston College's camp ends is the same day Penn State's begins."

Stewart has attended junior days at Boston College and Rutgers.

"At Rutgers, he had the tour and the coach showed him the locker room," Stewart's father said.  "They had his jersey in the locker (with his name on it).  They gave him a pretty good pitch."
According to Stewart, Penn State is recruiting him the hardest, with Boston College right behind.  Brian Norwood is recruiting Stewart for the Nittany Lions.

"I grew up on Penn State," Stewart said.

Is Penn State one of his favorite teams?

"Oh yeah, most definitely.  From what I've seen, they have a nice campus over there.  I've been following them all my life and it's an honor just to be there."

The Nittany Lions are Johnson's clear favorite at this point.  He's also interested in Boston College, Rutgers and Ohio State.

"I know one of the players there (Ohio State), Shane Olivea.  He went to my school."

Shane and Stewart played together during Johnson's freshman year.

Stewart's father is also an admirer of Penn State's program.  He had a positive Penn State experience 30 years ago.

"One of the guys I went to school with played for Penn State, Chucky Herd.  I went to a game down there and I actually went to the locker room and shook Coach Paterno's hand when Chucky introduced me to him.  This was in the early 70's.  He made me feel like one of his players.  He was a very nice guy and I always told my son that.  I also told him how the team traveled.  They all wore sport jackets."

A scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions would be hard for the Stewart and his father to refuse, but at this point, they are pursuing all options.

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