November 19, 2010

Stewart opting for Orange and Blue?

The Syracuse Orange are going to have a big hole to fill when senior linebackers Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith exhaust their eligibility at the end of this football season. With those players leaving the Orange coaches are looking for new linebackers to come in and make an impact. One of those prospects the Orange are still recruiting is Graham Stewart.

Stewart, 6-foot-1, 216 pounds gave a verbal commitment to Boston College in August, but as this football season has gone on he is still looking around.

"Throughout the football season I have been keeping in touch with Boston College and I also talk with Florida and Syracuse once a week. Letters from all over the place still come in, but those are the three schools I keep in touch with."

Syracuse and Florida are new names that have surfaced since he picked the Eagles and he talked about what he likes about the two programs.

"With Syracuse I really like Coach Conley as a linebacker coach and a person in general. I have a strong attraction to Syracuse. I did verbally commit to Boston College, but I would like to at least take three official visits to Syracuse, Boston College, and Florida. I just want to make sure that I make the right choice."

What makes the Orange linebackers coach stick out for Connecticut's number one ranked prospect?

"Just keeping in touch and talking with him and he tells me how the program is going and what I could do if I went there as far as schemes. Things like that, how if I go to Syracuse it will benefit me and their style of defense."

Not only does he like Syracuse itself and Coach Conley, but this season has made an impression on Stewart.

"I am thoroughly impressed. I know a lot of people coming into the recruiting process were talking all of this crap and saying stuff about how they are not good. I knew they were coming in with a new staff and they have the ninth ranked defense and I know they are impressing everybody. They will win the Big East if they beat Connecticut and Pittsburgh drops a couple games late. If that happens they can go to the Fiesta Bowl, so I am impressed with them."

As for Florida they are sticking out as well.

"I went down to Florida this summer and I liked what Coach Meyer had to say about pushing guys to the limit and the very best they can be. Florida is the best football you can really get in the country right now. I know they are not having the greatest season to their standards, but it is the SEC and top notch competition."

While visiting Florida Stewart was unable to shake free from the reach of Syracuse.

"When I went down to The Swamp when I was in Gainesville after Friday Night Lights I had dinner with Coach Addazio and I met his son there. We talked, but I was primarily down there for Florida. Then I talked more with Lou and as my interest grew in Syracuse he kind of started to help recruit me."

Despite knowing the three schools he wants to visit he has not set up any visits yet.

"Since my high school team has been doing so well I want to just focus on our season. I plan to take at least three officials in late in December."

Until he visits all of the schools he will not know exactly where they stand on his list. He does know that Boston College is on top right now because of his familiarity with the school.

"I am positive that Boston College is my number one. I think until I actually spent a night at a school and hangout with the players and get to know more about those programs. After I do that I will no better where Syracuse and Florida stand."

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