The Florida Gators swooped in and grabbed the metro New Orleans area’s top cover cornernack and one of the elite defensive backs in the nation.
McDonogh 35’s Brad Stewart decided on the Florida Gators after carefully considering Arkansas, TCU, Arizona State, Va. Tech. Florida State, Miami and Auburn. LSU entered late into the process but never was able to make up ground.
The 6-foot, 195 pounder with 4.45 speed scored five touchdowns in 2016 in a variety of ways including interception returns. His career stat total include 11 interceptions as a four-year starter for the Roneagles.
Natural skills mixed with a dedication to hard work make Stewart, who also possesses high football IQ, a hot commodity. He will challenge the run, locates ball quickly, flips his hips and plays with a burning desire to be the best. He models his style after Kansas City Chiefs All Pro corner Marcus Peters.
Stewart has the ability to play safety, outside linebacker or even running back. He has even handled punting and place kicking duties for McDonogh 35.
Fully eligible with a 3.0 GPA, he also excels in track and field for the Roneagles boasting a 6’7″ high jump.
It is one thing to be considered one of the better players that a coach says that he has seen, but when McDonogh 35 head coach Wayne Reese rates your skills among the elites in his career, that’s a whole different subject.
A coach who has spent nearly a half century prowling the sidelines, Reese has worked with the likes of Delvin Breaux and Marshall Faulk (who spent time as a defensive back at Carver). Yet Reese says Brad Stewart is the best defensive player that he’s ever coached. That’s quite an endorsement.
In other commitment news, West Jefferson tight end Damien DeGruy has given his verbal to Fresno State. He had previously committed to Memphis on June 6.
DeGruy becomes the 19th addition for the Bulldogs in the ’17 class including early enrollees.
Other options for DeGruy (6-3, 220) include Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, ULM, McNeese, SMU, Nicholls State, UTSA, Southern Miss and South Alabama.
DeGruy runs good seam routes, has a reliable pair of mitts, catches away from his body and is effective with runs after catches. He will display a fierce knockout block when called upon.