Interest picks up for Santa Ana's Stewart

Santa Ana DE Sam Stewart (6-3, 255) is a JUCO player that had a solid 2007 season, but so far has gotten very little in the way of recruiting attention. Things have picked up recently though and Stewart updated recently about how his sophomore season went and what schools he's hearing from most at this point.

"Things are starting to pick up just a little bit," Stewart said. "UCLA just started talking to my coaches about me and Louisiana-Lafayette has started to pick things up a little bit.

"I've actually talked to quite a few coaches from a bunch of schools and most of them said they like me a lot, but they didn't have any room for a mid-year transfer so they couldn't offer me.

"My coaches and I have been sending out my film and I've gotten a lot of attention from some D-1AA and D-2 schools, but I said 'thanks but no thanks' because I want to play D-1."

Stewart signed with Nevada after he completed his high school career at Tustin High School in California, but he said he just didn't feel comfortable staying in Reno.

"I just didn't like my time there," Stewart said. "I just didn't feel good about the situation there and it was pretty negative around there and I didn't want to be a part of that so, I just decided to leave and start fresh.

"Santa Ana is a good program and I liked the coaches and the area and I just felt this was the best place for me to jump-start things."

Stewart had 45 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and four sacks from his end position and he said he's open to playing on either side of the line.

"I can play both equally well," Stewart said. "I usually played with my hand down, but as the season went along, I started rushing from the stand-up position and I liked that a lot better.

"It's a lot easier to read things from that position. You can see the way the backs shift and get a better read for where the play is going when you are standing up. I had a lot of fun doing that."

Because Stewart is a 4-2-4 player, he will only have two years to play two when he signs and since he hasn't gotten a D-1 offer to this point, he plans to enroll for winter quarter at Santa Ana with the hope of arriving in spring to the school that steps up with an offer.

We'll continue to follow Stewart's progress in the coming months and update things as the develop.

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