USC coach Shane Beamer and his coaches get the chance to wrap their arms around DE Dylan Stewart of Washington, DC again this weekend. Stewart is coming in Friday for the cookout according to his coach Mike Hunter. Whether or not this visit will lead to a resolution of Stewart’s recruiting remains to be seen.
“He’s honestly wavering back and forth between an announcement date,” Hunter said. “One time he mentioned August, September and then back to August. Now he may wait till the end. I’m just not sure. It’s a tough decision for him. I know he’s under a lot of pressure, so he wants to make the right decision.”
Stewart has visited the Gamecocks multiple times, including an official visit in June. So, is it possible the Gamecocks could close the deal with Stewart this weekend, something Beamer certainly would like to get done.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Hunter laughed. “I’ve tried to get a date just for planning purposes. I don’t want to put any pressure on him. I just want to make sure we have everything in place and invite the right people to his announcement day. He’s kind of going back and forth with it. He’s really struggling with this decision in a good way. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a tough decision for him.”
Stewart has USC, Ohio State, Georgia, Miami and Maryland as his finalists. He’s taken official visits to each one except Maryland, he’s been there on his own several times. All five remain in the hunt.
“I think all of them have done such a good job of recruiting him, it’s kind of hard to eliminate anyone as opposed to picking a school,” Hunter said. “Hats off to all the coaches and staffs who have been recruiting him. They’ve made it pretty tough for him to eliminate schools at this point. I told him that’s part of the business. Got to say no to someone.”
Perhaps the hardest to say no to would be USC? Like they did in landing Nyck Harbor from the same area, Beamer and company have gone all in on Stewart.
“He has a great relationship with the coaches down there,” Hunter said. “He has a great relationship with the players on the team and has definitely built a bond with some of the guys that they are recruiting as well, not only from our area but from around the nation. They’ve done a tremendous job of recruiting him. They’ve done a tremendous job of keeping in touch with myself and his parents to make sure everyone is comfortable with South Carolina and with the coaching staff. They’ve put themselves in a great position.”
But Hunter adds that he can pretty much say the same thing about the other four schools.
“I think all the schools have a legit shot right now just from my conversations from talking with the coaches at those schools,” Hunter said. “He hasn’t led anyone to believe like, oh I’m going to pick you guys when I make my decision. It’s a tough decision for him. Schools have made it really tough. I don’t think there’s a wrong decision, as long as he’s focused on doing what he’s supposed to do, he can be successful at any one of those places. I don’t think anyone is trying to talk him out of a school either.”
The South Carolina visit is the only one Hunter has on the docket for this week, but his coach said more will come if he doesn’t shut down his recruiting before the start of the season.
“As of right now, he probably will take some more visits, some game days visits, to some of those schools he’s still considering,” Hunter said. “Obviously, if he makes his decision sometime in August or early September, he’ll probably just be locked into that one place and focus on having a great senior year and then getting started with his college career.”
Stewart is considered by many as the top defensive end prospect in his class. He’s coming off a junior season of 16 sacks.