Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sturgis’ Stewart Sticks With Commitment to Wisconsin; for now

When Bret Bielema left Wisconsin to become the new Arkansas coach, 2014 Badger recruit and Sturgis quarterback Chance Stewart had a decision to make- to stay or go.

As of Monday, Stewart has decided to stay true to his commitment to the Badgers he made in August of 2012.

Stewart only had one other offer before choosing Wisconsin and that was Western Michigan, just an hour’s drive north from his home.

Since his commitment, Stewart and Bielema had been building a friendship that every coach and quarterback should have.

“When Coach Bielema left Wisconsin, it was a big shock and it really sucked because we had developed such a close relationship.”

Stewart said he would be open to following Bielema to Arkansas if “things were to open up”.

Michigan State has expressed interest in Stewart through facebook messages and he is going to start visiting some schools in weeks to come despite his “soft verbal commitment” to Wisconsin.

New Wisconsin head coach Gary Anderson has had virtually no contact with his future quarterback since being hired in December.

“I have talked with Coach [Thomas] Hammock (assistant coach/recruiting coordinator) but that’s about it,” Stewart said on his communication with the new Wisconsin staff.

In August Wisconsin offered an offensive system fitting to Stewart’s style and the perfect coach to play for. But with Bielema’s departure, does that all change?

“Wisconsin was the perfect fit. It worked well with the offensive schemes and I really enjoyed all of the coaches,” Stewart said. “Yet now the coaches are gone, so I just don’t know if Wisconsin is the right place for me.”

The 6’6 and 220 pound Stewart is a rare-breed football player that can escape pressure and make plays outside of the pocket. He has started every varsity game in his high school career and stresses leadership as the reason he has been able to make it through three years as a starting varsity quarterback with still one more season left.

“My greatest asset is my leadership. That’s been what I’ve been known for since day one and that’s needed if you want to be a successful quarterback at any level.”

Although his first three seasons haven’t ended on Thanksgiving weekend at Ford Field or even in November at all, Stewart knows his team is on the right track. Sturgis will have a new coach in 2013 in Jimmy Lamb. Lamb was their offensive coordinator last season.

Stewart and the other seniors to be are changing the ways things are done at Sturgis in the offseason.

“We have a new coach this season and the atmosphere is just different,” Stewart said. “Weight room sessions are a lot more intense and serious because everyone knows we have a good shot at making a serious run in the playoffs.”

Living in a community with just under 11,000 and playing for a school with only 900 students as a big ten recruit has its advantages and disadvantages.

“You’re not always surrounded with the best talent so it makes you have to work that much harder. But in the long run it’ll all be worth it,” Stewart said.

Only time will tell if Stewart will play his college football in Madison. But if he does open up his recruiting, Wisconsin will certainly regret letting him slip through their hands.
 
Follow Evan Paputa on twitter @Epootietang

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