Shemar Stewart isn't a new name for those even casually keeping up with high school football or college football recruiting.
The class of 2022 prospect, tabbed as the No. 2 edge prospect in America by SI All-American just last week, has north of 30 scholarship offers to his name from programs coast to coast. Trying to figure out his next stop will take the Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace pass rusher into his senior season.
"I'm still in no rush," he told Sports Illustrated Monday. "This is one of the biggest decisions I’ll have to make. I know the importance of choosing the correct spot."
Stewart was quick to note what he's looking for in the ideal fit.
"Longevity with the coaching staff, system I’ll be playing in, position coach that will prepare me for the next level," he said.
When it comes to options, the rising-senior recruit hasn't put out a list of favorites this year. He says the group has been narrowed to "seven or eight" before confirming programs he considers to be contenders.
As of late July, the group includes Miami, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M. All but Alabama and A&M have hosted Stewart for at least one recruiting visit.
An initial impression of College Station is just days away.
"I'm going to Texas A&M for the weekend," he said. "I honestly just want to feel what the atmosphere is like, meet the coaches in person, just take in everything that will help me make a decision on my commitment down the road.
"Jimbo (Fisher) is one of the best college head coaches and Coach (Terry) Price, the D-line (defensive ends) coach, has sent guys at my position to the next level."
Stewart admits he has made some decisions within the list, privately, but also that there is still plenty to be determined in the recruitment. He confirmed he would "absolutely" make visits during the fall, most likely for game days, before going public with a verbal commitment.
"Some are ahead of others because of what I’m looking for in the programs," he said. "But some have one or two things I’m looking for, others have one thing I’m looking for.
"It will take more shape as I finish my visits."
The 6'5", 260-pound prospect missed some time during Pace's condensed 2020 schedule after bursting onto the scene in 2019 with a 15-sack sophomore season.
SI All-American Evaluation
One of the tougher evaluations nationally, from a position projection perspective, Stewart would be among the best ranked on the edge or as an interior defensive lineman. What pushed it over the top to keep him on the edge, where he has the most experience, is the sheer athleticism and length. Yes, Stewart has added to his frame and could work inside this fall with plenty of effectiveness, but his bend, balance and comfort lies on the outside. The Miami native hasn't sacrificed twitch as he has added good mass, with enough polish to continue to win with speed and/or counter with power. Improved work with his hands could take his game to the level that could push him to the top of the list.