Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Stewart's community shares in his big day
Saturday wasn’t just a big day for Highland receiver Deon Stewart, but also his community.
Stewart, 6-1, 163, 4.48 seconds in the 40 yard dash, committed to Razorback Coach Bret Bielema before the Red-White spring game over scholarship offers from Ole Miss, Louisville, Tulsa, Southern Miss and Arkansas State. Video highlights CLICK HERE
Highland Coach Spencer Hill said Stewart’s pledge is a big deal for the town.
“For the first time in our community that we've got a kid commit to the University of Arkansas to play football,” Hill said. “It's a big deal for our community and our football program and we are all just so proud of Deon. He is going to be a great ambassador for us here at the U of A.”
Stewart recorded 36 receptions for 757 yards and 8 touchdowns and rushing 27 times for 448 yards and 4 touchdowns. He had 6 interceptions on defense and was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All Arkansas Team as a cornerback.
Oregon and others plan to visit the school during the spring evaluation period, but Hill doesn’t believe Arkansas has anything to worry about.
“I think it is pretty firm,” Hill said. “He is 16 years old. He's young. He could be a sophomore right now so you never know how things go, but I know his heart was always here. I think him looking around a little bit probably solidified it that Arkansas is my home. “I'll be shocked if he does, but I am sure other people will still be recruiting him.”
Stewart might be joined by teammate and athlete Avery Johnson, who has offers from Southern Miss and Arkansas State, in Fayetteville should he earn an offer at Arkansas’ camp in June.
“Avery is a freakish athlete,” Hill said. “In the recruiting world, if there is a word athlete that fits somebody, it's him. That is kind of what holds him back is that nobody knows what his true position is.”
The Hogs want to see Johnson, 6-1, 206, 4.54 work out at safety and linebacker.
“I think he could play outside linebacker,” Hill said. “I think he could play free safety. I think he could play receiver somewhere, too. He can do anything. He leaps so well. Just another strong kid that has never train before. He could easily get 230 or 240 and play linebacker for sure.”