It's no secret that the first-year staff at Texas A&M has a lot of work to do to improve the talent on defense, especially at linebacker, where the Aggies have been decimated over the last decade due to injuries—and sometimes bizarre circumstances.
Sherman and Co. believe that one of the answers at the position lies with Shreveport (LA) native Jonathan Stewart, who made his second trip to Aggieland nearly two weeks ago.
"I wanted to get a more in-depth look at the overall school," Stewart said. "When I was here for the spring game, I didn't get to see much other than the stadium and football facilities. I felt better about the university with this second trip. The Student Rec Center is amazing. It really blew me away."
The Shreveport native also spent time getting to know the coaching staff better, talking about the future of the Texas A&M football program, what the coaches are looking for in players, and how they saw him fit into the system.
"We talked about the university and about life in general," Stewart said. "The coaches also talked about how they are looking to get more athletic and faster, especially on defense. They like tall, athletic linebackers that can run and they said I was that guy."
And even though the Aggies' 2009 class seems to be filling up at a record pace, the Aggie coaching staff did not put the hard sell on Stewart, who has 18 offers at the moment (SMU, Cal, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, TCU, Michigan, Duke, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Miss. State, Tennessee, ULM, Southern Miss, Oklahoma State and Arizona).
"They didn't push me or give me a timetable," Stewart said. "They just said that they were taking four linebackers and they wanted me to be one of those four."
Stewart told Scout.com earlier this month that the three primary factors in his decision making will be academics, coaching and campus life. After his second trip to A&M, he believes that the Aggies will make his top five, earning them an official visit later this year.
"I plan to take my five official visits, and I set up an official visit for the OU game on November 7 I think," Stewart said. "I don't have any leaders, but I'm pretty sure I'll visit Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Tennessee. I'm not sure about the other two yet."
Stewart has no plans to take any additional unofficial visits the rest of the summer, although he didn't rule it out completely. In addition, LSU has invited him to participate in their July camp to evaluate him further. The Scout.com three-star linebacker isn't sure if he'll take the Tiger staff up on their offer.
"I'm not sure I'll go," Stewart said. "I don't even know. I'm not thinking too much about it to be honest with you."
David Sandhop contributed to this story
Stewart impressed after second trip to A&M
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