LB Stewart becomes Florida’s 16th commitment

By Adam Silverstein
January 29, 2011

It became apparent earlier in the week, when it was reported the Florida Gators were making a late push for his commitment, that four-star linebacker Graham Stewart (Middleton, CT) may ditch the maroon and gold of the Boston College Eagles for the orange and blue. That is exactly what happened Friday as Stewart decided to decommit from Boston College and become the 16th member of Florida’s 2011 signing class.

“Yeah, I did verbally commit tonight,” Stewart told the Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays on Friday. “It was always my dream school, but with the coaching change, that had deterred me a bit. But just the overall energy of the place and, of course, it being Florida, it just seemed to be the best place for me to become a better student and a better athlete.”

Head coach Will Muschamp visited Stewart in his home Friday and quickly earned the player’s commitment. OGGOA reported Thursday, via The Hartford Courant, that Stewart was heavily considering a switch.

“It’s a hard situation but also a good one,” Stewart told the paper. “I took two unofficial visits to Florida this summer. I have an offer from them. It’s a great honor that they believe you can play for them.”

Considered the top recruit in the state of Connecticut by Rivals, Stewart is ranked as the service’s No. 16 linebacker in the country. ESPNU lists him as a three-star player and their No. 53 overall linebacker.

31 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    BOOM!

  2. quickenedspirit says:

    Wow, quite a difference between ESPNU’s and Rivals’ rankings!

  3. ken says:

    finally coach boom is landing some folks! Wednesday I think could be very intersting. No one expects any of the uncommitted to hit UF this year, could be a few big surprises.

  4. ken says:

    espn still lists UF as #5, scouts not even intop 25, never know who to believe, but let Coach Boom bring in the studs, and the services will keep updating us better and better

  5. ken says:

    The last top recruit from Conecticut UF got was Aaron Hernandez…we all saw how that worked out…

  6. dp says:

    Welcome to the Gator Nation Graham!

  7. SaraGator says:

    Welcome to the Gator Nation, Graham!

  8. 86GOPGator says:

    I believe the Gators are on the march and we will have a great recruiting class in 2011!

  9. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Good news for a change – Go Coach Boom!

  10. Mr2Bits says:

    This is a HUGE get. This kid is already bigger than most of our LB’s and tore it up at Friday night lights. Will definitely be a good addition.

  11. John S says:

    Welcome Stewart, we sorely need linebacker help. Glad to have you on board.

  12. Gatorgrad79 says:

    It has been mentioned before that some were surprised that we have not pulled in any Texas prospects (gotten them to switch). I personally am glad that we are not getting any bad press such as Kiffen got when he stole recruits from UT to go to USC. It seems like a misappropriation of funds when a coach uses one schools resources for one or two years (jets, airfare,phones,visits by recruits to the school), then changes schools and takes those recruits whose recruiting was paid for by the school they now shun. If I had anything to do with NCAA recruiting, the gaining school (to which the coach & recruit had switched) would be required to pay back all expenses associated with the long-term recruitment to the school which got jilted.

    • Daniel M. says:

      That would open a can of worms that would turn recruiting on its head. Pay back? Never happen. Those are discretionary funds within the recruiting budget of the football program. You can’t misappropriate discretionary money.

      Personally, I think Will could have made a run at a bunch of Texas recruits but chose to take the high road and not plunder all the work he did for texas. It’s a safe bet that he has a bunch of respect for Mack Brown. The kids that Will spent months/years getting to consider or commit to Texas, belong at Texas. If he were to go after those kids and try to get them to switch or reconsider, it would be unclassy and would burn every bridge he built in Texas.

      • Gatorgrad79 says:

        Well, if it really became rampant (not sayin’ it is) I would expect AD’s and schools to look at it differently than they do at present. You can’t blame a kid for wanting to stay with a coach that he has built a relationship with, but in cases where the coach leaves voluntarily (baby Kiff), and that relationship was developed at the expense of the losing school, it would be nice to have penalty clause in the contract which could be invoked.

  13. mover says:

    Sounds excited to be a gator move on down to the warm weather and join the BOOM

  14. Swift_Tech says:

    Sorry there is no” high road” in recruiting, you get the best players and as many as u can. And MR 2 bits at 210 what linebackers on UF is he already bigger than?? This is a good grab and i hope to see more like it NSD.

  15. Andrew says:

    Great news. Let’s get some more!

  16. Josh says:

    Does this mean Curtis Grant isnt coming?

  17. dp says:

    Swift…not sure where you are looking but rivals and scout have him listed at 216 and 225. As studly and beastly as Jelani is, I’m positive he’s not 6’2″ 225. As I said before, welcome Graham…bust your ass this summer and get some playing time right away! GG

  18. Swampbabe says:

    Yeah, me thinks they may not feel too strongly about Grant. Too bad if that’s true, but I was never counting on him. I’ll be glad when Wednesday comes and we can all quit biting our nails and move forward as we are. As much as I would love some last minute fireworks I’m not getting my hopes up. Coach Boom just needs to roll up his sleeves and coach up what he’s got.

  19. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Adam…is there a list of our top targets left and when they are expected to announce…Jernigan for one? Thanks

      • Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

        Great…have you summarized our biggest areas of need? I am guessing it’s LB…after Jenkins, Bostic, Ball, Kitchens, Finley, Taylor & Powell (I assume he will move to DE) how many LB’s do we even have returning at this point? And I mean those returning that have a good shot at being in top 2 of the depth chart. I also assume next year either Jenkins or Bostic will change LB position so both can start? Agree? Thanks

    • Mr2Bits says:

      Drew : Here is a list that I have put together and some updates/personal opinions.

      1. Grant – 60% (Rumors are that he’s been a silent commit all along. Very tight lipped)
      2. Anthony – 80% (Pagan’s games have sealed this for us)
      3. Rasco – 90% (Loves Muschamp and I’m hearing is blown away w/ UF this weekend)
      4. Jernigan – 60% (Always been a Gator)
      5. Westbrook – 100% (If he gets an offer this weekend)
      6. J. Jenkins – 51% (49% UGA, Coach Young wants him bad)
      7. Pomee – 55% (Hearing some smoke about him. Teammate of RoPo)
      8. Maggitt – 90% (Look for his announcement on the Sportsman Channel – )
      9. Roberson – 50% (50% Aub)
      10. Fisher – 60% (Wants to be a Gator. Distance is only drawback)
      11. Brissett – 40% (60% Cane. Driskel keeps this from happening)
      12. Big Surprise – 80% – I’m hearing we are going to steal a big one that’s already committed somewhere else. Not ready to drop names yet. Should come out after OV’s this weekend

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