Stewart is a big playmaker in a small package

Compact running backs have become more en vogue over the past few years and one of the top backs in the entire country regardless of size is Joliet RB Anthony Stewart (5-8, 185). He had an outstanding freshman season and many are expecting even more from him this year. Stewart spoke with recently about recruiting and how his offseason workouts are going.

"We've been hitting it really hard this summer with the offseason conditioning and workouts," Stewart said after a recent workout. "Our guys have been really focused on getting better and doing the things we need to do to be successful.

"My personal focus has been on reading defenses and continuing to keep my knees up. When you watch guys run, the best backs are the ones that keep their knees up because they can step out of tackles and really punish defenders."

Even though Stewart is on the smaller side for most backs, he still managed 874 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman and his goal this year is to top both of those totals.

"Oh I want to get over a thousand, that's for sure," Stewart admitted confidently. "I'd love to get like 1,500 and have 20 touchdowns, but it's all about our team and getting a championship.

"I know that's kind of what everyone says, but I really mean it. If we're successful, I'm successful and I'll get my stats as they come."

Stewart models his game much the same as current San Diego Chargers RB Darren Sproles and he said Sproles' alma mater has been contacting him the most about a scholarship.

"Yeah that is pretty cool," Stewart said with a laugh. "Kansas State has been talking to me the most and they talked about how they don't care how big or how small a guy is, if he can play, he can play and they want to get the best players they can in there to be playmakers.

"Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and pretty much all of the Big 12 schools and some of the MAC and Big East schools have been in contact at some point. Illinois, New Mexico and Utah State have also been in contact with me a lot."

Stewart doesn't have any offers at this point, but that's sure to change in the near future. He expects to graduate in December and will have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

We'll have more from this talented back as the season gets underway.

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