Stewart talks Recruiting

We've heard the stories before. Luke Huard and the infamous North Carolina license plate epiphany, Nathan Rhodes deciding to pick Washington over Tennessee while taking a shower - decisions that were inspired by a perceived divine intervention. To Jonathan Stewart, the number-one running back in the country by, perception is very much reality when talking about his creator, and how divine intervention just might play a part in his eventual college choice.

"I'm thankful for everything," Stewart told Saturday. "I thank God for everything. I wouldn't be able to do this. That's what I believe."

But Stewart, like his maker and his also namesake - the Jon Stewart from the Daily Show on Comedy Central - has a sense of humor. In fact, Washington football fans would consider Jonathan's sense of humor to be cruel at times. Sometimes he talks about UW, sometimes he doesn't mention them at all. And never once has he pubically considered them a leader for his services starting in 2005, but in Stewart's defense he has not talked about leaders the past six months. But Saturday he talked about the Huskies.

"I don't put U-Dub out or anything," he said. "I'm still open. I'm not making the decision. God is helping me out and whatever he wants me to do, that's what I'm going to do.

"But God's not going to be calling me on the phone, telling me to drop schools and stuff like that. That's crazy. It's going to be a gut feeling, based on what you see. But I know he's making me see things right now. Nobody's out, as far as I'm concerned."

Was it a sign when North Thurston kicker Ryan Perkins invited Jonathan and NT running back Brendan Manning to drive up to Seattle with him for Washington's Picture Day? "I was like, 'That sounds like a good idea'," Stewart said of Perkins' invite. "And Ryan invited me, of all people - that could be God speaking to me right there, you never know. The coaches were nice and everything, everybody treated me well. The practice was really intense, I was pleased with that."

Perkins ended up verbally committing to the Huskies that day.

And later that week, while Washington was in Olympia for part of their fall camp, Stewart was scheduled to attend a practice at Evergreen State College, but that never materialized. "I didn't get a chance to make it out there," he said. "We had practice and I was trying to finish my conditioning. I was supposed to go to Evergreen, but I woke up late," he said with a laugh.

And throughout all of Jonathan's preparation for his senior season at Timberline - one that promises big games and a slew of broken records along the way - the recruiting process hangs over Stewart like a thick fog that won't lift. Jonathan's Mother would like to see that weather front move on.

"She's bugging me every time I go out to do something," said Stewart. "She's like, 'We need to sit down and talk about this,' so we're gathering all the information and pretty soon everybody will know where I'll be going, probably when the season starts." he added when asked about official visits.

With nine offers currently on the table - Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, California, Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford and Duke - Stewart faces the prospect of trying to visit more schools than allotted. There's a chance schools like Washington and Oregon could only get unofficial visits if room gets tight.

Jonathan will mix in a little bit of recruiting into his football plans this fall. "I'm going to try and see some games on Saturdays," he said. "I only went to one game last year, which was U-Dub and Idaho. It was fun. The crowd was really loud, but I want to go to more. I'm going to the Wazzu-Colorado game and I'm planning on going to the Apple Cup. I've never been to the Apple Cup. It'll be cold. I'm going to try and go to that game."

But there's no question the Blazers get first dibs on Stewart's focus. In fact, Timberline fans might get to see a double dose of 'Snoop' this fall. "I think I might be playing safety a little bit, but I don't really know right now," he said.

If I was Timberline Head Coach Kevin Young, it wouldn't take a Mary Magdalene sighting on a billboard to put Stewart in on defense with the game on the line. God knows he can play safety.

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