June 28, 2010

LB Stewart ready to choose?

Xavier linebacker Graham Stewart is considered one of the top prospects in the state of Connecticut - if not all of New England - and it appears he is close to making a final decision on where he'll play football in 2011.

"Prior to the recruitment process I had decided that I would pull the trigger and make a decision within what is now a three week span," said Stewart. "So, I believe in three weeks - no matter what - I'll be making a decision."

The 6-foot-1, 216-pound linebacker already has offers from Connecticut, Boston College, Syracuse and Temple, and doesn't want the recruitment process to drag into his senior season.

"My parents and my coaches thought it would be mentally healthy for me to get it all finished with, because you want to go into your senior year strong and confident," he said. "I think I would perform much better if I had those distractions behind me and didn't have to worry about recruiting."

The Middletown native has not participated in any camps at UConn, but did attend the team's spring football game. He was also in Storrs for UConn basketball's upset of top-ranked Texas in late January.

"It was a great game," Stewart said.

The atmosphere that night, as well as the close proximity to home, makes Connecticut a strong competitor for Stewart's services.

"Obviously it's big to be an in-state guy," he said. "You can represent your own university and state and have all your friends and family close enough to come and watch you play."

Stewart had a standout junior season at Xavier, finishing with 110 tackles and five sacks. He opened eyes at the Northeast Five-Star Showdown after running a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, and projects as a linebacker or safety at the collegiate level. Regardless of position, Stewart is not taking his decision lightly.

"I'm just making sure I can take full advantage of this time to look at every school and every aspect, that way I'm not sitting in my dorm in college three years from now asking myself what if I went to another school."

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