Michigan picked up their second commitment in two days yesterday when three-star New Caanan (CT) offensive lineman Jack Stewart announced his pledge on Twitter. As a Connecticut prospect, Stewart hails from Don Brown Country, which means at this juncture he's all but unscouted by the recruiting services.
Stewart has picked up increasingly impressive offers over the last couple months, however, starting with a trip out west that netted Arizona and ASU offers. Michigan offered a couple weeks ago and—despite picking up offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, TCU, and Texas A&M—Stewart didn't wait long to jump on it. He's the ninth commit in the 2019 class, which moved up a spot to fourth nationally, and the third on the offensive line, joining top-100 OG Nolan Rumler and four-star OT Trente Jones.
|2*, 5.4, NR OT||NR OT||
3*, 87, #56 OT,
3*, #83 OT,
These should be ignored, despite what you may have read in the comments on the initial commitment post. There isn't a single scouting report on Stewart from an analyst on any of the three recruiting sites. His ESPN page didn't exist until today; Rivals didn't mention anything about his recruitment until after yesterday's commitment. 247 appears to be the only site that's at least looked at his film and they have him as a decent three-star; it's hard to get far above that before an in-person evaluation without being an obvious monster athlete.
Stewart has solid size for a future interior lineman. All three sites list him at 6'5" and either 280 or 285 pounds, and he doesn't look to be carrying a lot of bad weight on film.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]
There's not much out there on Stewart, who doesn't appear to have hit the camp scene that usually gives scouts a chance at an early evaluation. We're going to start with Stewart's junior highlight tape because, for the moment, the only scouting available on him comes from his high school coach:
The competition he faces isn't stellar, as you'd expect, but I was nonetheless impressed with what he put on tape. Here's my quick evaluation:
Stewart displays good targeting; he doesn't just get to his spots, he gets his hands on the right guy. Mean blocker who finishes. He shows decent agility as a puller or heading out to the edge and finds a guy to hit. Uses his hands well, which also shows through on his defensive clips. He'll pop up too high out of his stance at times but drives with decent leverage. Clearly stronger than his competition. He has solid, not spectacular, footwork—better in the run game than in his pass drops. Stewart looks best suited for guard, though right tackle is a possibility down the road.
247's Brian Dohn caught up with Stewart's high school coach to get an insider evaluation:
"He's a road grinder kind of offensive lineman."
"Jack Stewart is one of my best football players, no doubt," Marinelli said. "He's a big, strong, tough, athlete. He's a heavyweight wrestler."
Stewart was recruited to play inside on the offensive line, but Marinelli said he offers position versatility.
"I would play him as a guard," Marinelli said. "The colleges have different specs for different positions. Some like real big tackles and some don't. He's tough enough to play inside and tough enough to play on defense if they wanted him to. He's a really good player."
Stewart's wrestling background translates to his film; wrestlers tend to be good at using their hands to gain leverage and control and he's no exception.
247's ranking looks fair to me, especially pending review of a full game in some form; his composite ranking should rise considerably once the other two sites get around to scouting him. Stewart doesn't jump out as a tremendous athlete and doesn't have prototype tackle size, so he'll probably be limited to guard or maybe right tackle. His agility and power at guard, however, give him the potential to hit the starting lineup after some development, especially since he looks to have decent instincts.
Stewart chose Michigan over offers from Arizona, ASU, Army, Baylor, Boston College, UConn, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ole Miss, Rutgers, TCU, Temple, Texas A&M, and Yale. Even though Stewart doesn't appear to have hit the camp scene at all,
Stewart's commitment was part of an unusually eventful recruiting day for New Canaan:
It started with class of 2020 quarterback Drew Pyne announcing his commitment to Notre Dame. And an hour before Stewart announced his chose Michigan, fellow offensive lineman Jack Conley committed to Boston College.
"Quite a day for a public high school in Connecticut," Marinelli said.
That group represents half of the FBS commits New Caanan has produced in the Rivals era (2002-present). The other three: former Notre Dame starting OL Conor Hanratty, honorable mention All-ACC/PFF fave-rave Boston College DE Zach Allen, and TCU right tackle Lucas Niang, who started the last eight games of 2017 as a true sophomore. The numbers may not be high but it's tough to beat a 100% hit rate on recent prospects, especially when none were rated above three stars.
MaxPreps has partial-season junior stats: through five games, Stewart recorded 25 tackles (13 solo), two TFLs, two pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Intriguingly, he blocked two field goals in five games as a sophomore.
FAKE 40 TIME
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Stewart will almost certainly redshirt and get a year or two to develop behind Mike Onwenu, Ben Bredeson, Stephen Spanellis, Joel Honigford, and possibly Chuck Filiaga (word is he's better inside than at tackle) before competing for a spot on the two-deep at guard. From there, I like his chances of making an impact; Stewart's recruitment suggests his talent is well beyond his current rankings and Michigan didn't hesitate to take him relatively early.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now has a solid group of three offensive linemen in the class (and potentially four, though Chris Hinton prefers defense and, as a five-star talent on either side, can do what he wants). They could add a fourth as soon as Friday, when in-state OT Karsen Barnhart announces his decision in a recruitment that looks very likely to go Michigan's way.
The coaches will also continue pursuing other linemen, including in-state five-star DeVontae Dobbs (they're still working on him) and—more realistic to end up in the class—top-100 RI OT Xavier Truss, four-star IL OT Trevor Keegan, and four-star FL OT William Harrod. Michigan holds 100% of the Crystal Ball picks for Harrod and over half the picks for Keegan; meanwhile, Truss was on campus last weekend, and PSU looks to be the main competition.
Here's the class, which ranks fourth nationally and first in the conference, as it currently stands: