Stewart getting SEC interest

Jarren Stewart of Lebanon, Tenn., had a big freshman year on varsity. The 5-foot-8, 183-pound athlete impressed the University of Akron so much with his freshman highlights that they extended an early offer. The 2016 prospect spoke with VandyMania.com on what he's heard from the Commodores and his upcoming junior season where he'll take over as his team's quarterback.

"I had not heard from Vanderbilt since the new coaching staff came in," Stewart said. "A Vandy coach did stop by the school and asked my coaches about me. Since I'm an underclassman he couldn't speak directly to me. The contact period begins on September 1st so I'm looking forward to being able to speak to Vanderbilt, if they're interested. I like both in-state schools quite a lot. If they offer, I'd love to stay close to home for college.

"The Akron coach messaged me on Facebook and left a number for me to call him. They offered me as an athlete but at the time my primary position was defensive back. I've kept in touch with them. We message each other at least once a week.

"Right now, I still have the one offer from Akron. I was injured for most of my sophomore year so I think that's what's holding me back, not having any sophomore highlights. Purdue's been showing me love. Western Kentucky, they liked me a lot. I went to their camp over the summer. I've heard from the Ole Miss coaches. I got to know the Penn State coaches from when James Franklin was at Vandy. I've heard from them. I've heard from Georgia on two separate occasions. One of their coaches came by our high school. Georgia State is also a school that likes me a lot."

In his freshman season at Lebanon High School, Stewart made 40 tackles, had two interceptions, and forced two fumbles. Last season, Stewart moved to running back but sustained a spiral fracture in the first game of the season that limited his time to only reserve duty. This year Stewart is back and primed to take over the quarterback position for the Lebanon Blue Devils.

"Last year, after the injury, the coach spot played me so I could get back to being 100-percent," he said. "He saved me for this year. I'm going to start at quarterback, but I'm also going to play in the slot and defensive back as well as punt and kick return. That's why I only did one camp this summer. After an injury, you want to build back up strong and come out with a big year. That's been my primary focus."

While most schools are recruiting Stewart as an athlete, he said he'd love to play offense in college at either running back or slot receiver. He opened the season with the Blue Devils on Friday night at Nashville area rival, Mount Juliet.

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