Update (2/3/2016): Donald Stewart has signed to Stanford.
After watching just a few minutes of his highlight tape, it is easy to see why over 15 Division I schools are making a push for Donald Stewart, a wide receiver from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey: he makes a ton of huge plays.
Go ahead, start watching the film at any point. It will soon become evident Stewart has an uncanny knack for getting open down the field, hauling in deep passes and racing into the end zone. That’s why, when asked about how he would classify himself as a receiver, there really is no debating Stewart’s answer.
“I think I’m a playmaker at receiver, because every time I touch the ball, I make big plays,” he said.
Stewart certainly isn’t the only one who thinks he is a playmaker, though. Just check out his mailbox. The 6-foot-4-inch, 185-pound junior is drawing a lot of attention from some of the nation’s top programs: schools that would love to add a strong, rangy deep threat to their wide receiver corps. At this point, he has received offers from Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Washington State, and Wake Forest, and has also been in touch with Duke, Michigan, Stanford, and Virginia, he said.
However, despite all of the attention he is receiving, Stewart is able to keep a level head, displaying a sense of maturity well beyond his years. He understands that, while he has certainly put in the hard work to warrant the success and offers that have come his way, he is in a very fortunate place.
“The recruiting process has been very exciting, but also humbling,” he explained. “There are some kids who would love to be in my position, and I am just so blessed to be able to have all of these options.”
The New Jersey wideout hopes to come to a final decision before the start of his senior season, but as of now, he is content to just let the process play out each day and remain open to any school that talks to him, he said. Stewart did provide some clues on what will end up factoring into his choice, though.
“When I choose a program, I will look at academics, location and life after college football,” Stewart said. “Schools like Stanford definitely stand out as of right now because that is a big-time academic school, and that plays a huge role in choosing the school I would like to attend.”
Until then, Stewart, who looks up to NFL receivers like Dez Bryant and Randy Moss, will continue to train in the offseason, looking to improve his route running and hands, he said. He said he also wishes to get in and out of his breaks quicker, which must be a scary thought for the cornerbacks tasked with stopping him in the future since he seems to already be doing so with pretty decent speed.
As far as his final year in high school goes, the last season of his career that will not be played in front tens of thousands of fans in a power football conference, Stewart has some pretty lofty goals in mind: 1,000 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns and a state title. Of course, there would be only one problem for Stewart if he does end up reaching those numbers: he would have to make a new highlight tape.
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