Top Young Pass Rusher Stewart on Trio of Top Ten Programs
John Garcia, Jr.
HIALEAH, Fla. -- While dozens and dozens of skill position prospects worked out at Milander Park as part of the Florida Fire organization's 7-on-7 tryout, onlookers couldn't miss a 6-foot-6, 236-pound prospect on hand taking in all the action.
"I don't know who that is but my coach asked me to find out," an SEC-bound senior told SI All-American upon his arrival.
It turned out to be Shemar Stewart, in the running for top overall prospect in the class of 2022 and a defensive lineman at Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace. He towered over participants while supporting his teammates looking to make a strong impression.
In between, the standout sophomore said a trio of top 10 programs are on his mind most early on and each has already extended a verbal offer his way.
"I'm into Oregon, Penn State, Florida," Stewart said. "I like Oregon's environment, intensity and I like their swagger. I like Florida's winning mentality.
"Penn State, their D-line coach (Sean Spencer) is amazing, I think that system fits me perfectly."
About a dozen additional programs have already jumped in with offers to Stewart, fresh off of a banner 2019 campaign in which he made his presence felt as a pass rusher. One of the top young prospects in the country registered 15 sacks in just 10 games played.
The rising junior is in no rush with the recruiting process and expects to add more options as he becomes an upperclassman. The last two national champions, in particular, are among those he wants to chase.
"Clemson and Alabama," he said. "Because they're at the top."
Stewart, who also plays varsity basketball but is currently limited because of a minor lower-body injury, does not have any upcoming visit plans.
SI All-American Evaluation:
Equipped with a head-turning frame that hits ideal length parameters, Stewart also features substantial room to add mass later in his prep career. Being a Miami-area prospect with versatility on the defensive line, comparisons to standout University of Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau are forming.
Stewart comes off of the line of scrimmage with great explosion relative to his size and despite a lack of mature upper-body strength at this juncture, his length already works as a major disengaging tool en route to the passer. He can already overwhelm blockers with his frame and leg drive as a power rusher, so any moves he develops off of his initial rush will create even easier wins. The sophomore also showed off a great motor in 2019 and he can finish with some authority upon arrival, too.
As Stewart adds mass, he will be able to explore playing on the interior, where his combination of size and athleticism may project best at the collegiate level.