Word getting out about Georgia WR/DE

Word is finally getting out about <B>Broderick Stewart</b>, the massive receiver / defensive end who hauled in 29 passes for 536 yards this season and led Riverside Military Academy to the state semifinals in GISA. Which two Southeastern Conference teams lead for his services?

Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga. is hardly a football factory. The team competes in GISA, which is dwarfed in the state of Georgia by the much larger and more visible GHSA, to which all the public schools belong. Though GISA produces a few college prospects each year, it's much harder for players here to gain the attention of college coaches.

But word is getting out about Broderick Stewart, the massive receiver / defensive end who hauled in 29 passes for 536 yards this season and led RMA to the state semifinals. The overlooked gem from North Georgia is a finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman. He's up to two major-college offers, with more likely to come his way.

Put him just about anywhere on a football field, and he's likely to excel. This fact alone may say it all about Stewart-- in the final game of the season vs. Stratford Academy, RMA was banged up at cornerback. The coaches decided to move Stewart, who'd played all year at defensive end, to cover corner for the season's biggest game.

"Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Troy State and North Carolina are all recruiting me," Stewart said recently. "Air Force even called my coach the other day, and they said they're interested."

"That's what happens when you're 6-5, 205, can bench-press 300 pounds, and can run a sub-4.6 40," said RMA coach Doug Dixon. "He's been in our program for three years now, and he's helped get us turned around from a one-win season three years ago to a ten-win season this year. A lot of that is due to Broderick."

More recently Stewart says he's been measured at 6 feet, 5-3/4 inches, and possibly still growing. It was his height that allowed him to pull down the ball in a crowd, says Dixon, but it was his strength and almost supernatural quickness off the edge that allowed him to excel as a pass rusher. He could play either position in college.

Recruiting is starting to reach a dizzying pace for Stewart, and things are happening almost daily. Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom is expected to stop by Gainesville later this month. Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Ted Cain, who recruits Georgia, will pay a visit on Tuesday.

Encouraged by Vanderbilt's coaches, Stewart made a trip to Nashville for the Commodores' season-ending game against Tennessee, and came home with an offer. He plans to visit Vanderbilt officially in January. North Carolina is his other offer.

Mississippi State is another school that holds strong appeal for Stewart, largely because of the admiration he holds for Croom. "It's a nice, upcoming program, and Coach Croom is of course the first black coach in the SEC. I could be part of that history. I wouldn't mind going to work for him.

"UNC has a beautiful campus, and it's a nice school too."

Still, the Commodores made the most recent impression on Stewart and for the moment might hold the edge for the gifted receiver.

"Vanderbilt has one of the top engineering programs in the Southeast," says the academically-oriented Stewart. "And at Vanderbilt, I think I'd be able to step on the field almost right away."

He'll probably take some visits and hold off on a decision until January, he says.

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