Ex-Lee Star Set to Shine at JSU
By Reggie Benson
The Huntsville Times Sports Staff
Reprinted here in its entirety.
Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe was tempted to play former
Lee High star Jared Stewart last season as a true freshman. Now, Crowe is glad
When the Gamecocks take the field this afternoon, Stewart will arguably be
among the most-improved players on the field. A 6-foot-2, 196-pound redshirt
freshman, Stewart will enter preseason practice backing up senior Mike Johnson
at left safety in the Gamecocks' two-deep set.
"Jared is a guy we redshirted last season, but it was awfully hard not to
play him because he has developed into such a good player," Crowe said last week
during the Gamecocks' annual media day. "He's a backup safety, but it's really a
position of learning more than a depth-chart position because he's the most
talented guy we've got playing safety and he's grown up a lot."
As a senior at Lee, Stewart led the Generals to a 10-3 record and the
third round of the state playoffs. He finished with 96 tackles and six
As a result, Crowe said Stewart reported to camp last season feeling
good about himself.
"He came in here with a swagger that was an imitation," Crowe
remembered. "He was trying to play a role instead of playing the game,
but slowly but surely he realized the business part of this ... how much
studying it takes and the attention you have to pay to small details."
As a result, Stewart has put himself in position to play and play a
lot. "He's kind of a quarterback out there," Crowe said. "The position
he plays makes all the checks and I just hope he's accountable enough to
do all of it because his talent is going to jump way out there. He's
going to play some special teams, but he's going to rotate (at safety).
He's going to be in the game and the better he plays the more he's going
to play. I expect him to be tired after every football game. He's a good
Jacksonville State opens the season on Sept. 1 against Alabama State
See story at The Huntsville Times's website: www.al.com/sports/huntsvilletimes/.
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