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