Stewart Picks Wisconsin

After missing out on every top tier quarterback they offered in the class of 2013, the Wisconsin coaching staff hit an early home run Thursday, picking up a verbal commitment from Sturgis (MI) junior quarterback Chance Stewart.

MADISON - With two years of high school football left and the major part of his recruitment still ahead of him, Sturgis (MI) quarterback Chance Stewart weighed the pros and cons of an early commitment.

The fact that he was even thinking about committing early to the University of Wisconsin was the sign that he knew where he wanted to play college football.

Getting offered at Wisconsin's high school summer camp and visiting the Badgers on Tuesday, the 6-5, 208-pound Stewart recognized there was no better place to play college football than at the University of Wisconsin for the two-time Big Ten champions.

"It just felt like home and the place I wanted to play football for," Stewart told Badger Nation. "I had a good time on the visit and I really wanted to commit on the visit. My parents told me to slow down and give it 48 hours, but I woke up this morning and knew that's what I wanted to do: play for coach Bielema and for coach Canada.

"I called coach and let him know that he has a quarterback for the class of 2014. I am very excited about that. I couldn't ask for anything else."

Picking Wisconsin over Western Michigan, Stewart represents the second commitment of the class of 2014, joining Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead offensive lineman George Panos. Stewart's commitment is also another big score to first year tight end coach Eddie Faulkner, as the former Badgers running back also was the lead recruiter for Wisconsin's biggest 2013 recruit to date in Indianapolis defensive tackle Darius Latham.

"Coach Faulkner is a cool guy," said Stewart. "He came down in the winter and that was the first time I ever talked to him. We just had a good connection. It was real fun to talk to him and he got me real excited about Wisconsin. When I went down to camp, I had a blast meeting all the guys. After the offer, we kept talking and I felt like that's the kind of coach I want to play for."

That's why Stewart despite the early commitment doesn't plan on entertaining any more offers or interest, including from his boyhood favorite Michigan.

"The whole plan was to commit at the end of (my junior season), but Wisconsin just felt like the place I wanted to be when I went up there Tuesday," said Stewart. "I left with the greatest feeling and the only thing I wanted to do yesterday was call coach Bielema. I want to come to Wisconsin and that's all I want to do. That's the only place I want to play.

"Decommitting is not even in my mind. I think that's disrespectful to the school. Besides, I am committed to Wisconsin 100 percent and looking forward to talking to some other guys in the class of 2014."

Leading his team to a 7-3 record last season and the school's first playoff appearance in roughly eight years, Stewart – a pro-style quarterback playing in a pro-style offense - threw for around 1,400 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. With his confidence handing the ball off and being accurate, Stewart loved the idea of playing that kind of game in college behind a massive offensive line.

"(That OL) intrigued me, getting a chance to play behind some big bodies," said Stewart. "I like playing underneath the pro-style offense and throwing the ball to the tight ends. I like playing that system and Wisconsin is very successful running that system. That was a big deal."

It's an even bigger deal for Wisconsin, who missed on eight quarterbacks in the 2013 class. Instead, the Badgers will get a quarterback with four-star potential who is always striving to improve his game.

"I want to be able to break down the game more," said Stewart. "I want to get better at the mental side of the game. The physical stuff I can work on , too, but I think being able to break down defenses and coverages will really help me out when the season starts."

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