Yorktown running back and defensive back M.J. Stewart committed to North Carolina on Monday, marking the fourth recruit from Northern Virginia to join the Chapel Hill-based program’s 2014 recruiting class.
Stewart had narrowed his slew of college offers to Michigan State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and West Virginia before choosing the Tar Heels, who extended their offer in March.
“I loved the coaches and it’s a great academic school,” Stewart said. “It was just a gut feeling I had [Monday] night that I wanted to commit there.”
Though the 5-foot-11, 188-pounder did most of his damage as a tailback at Yorktown last season, rushing for 1,842 yards and scoring 36 touchdowns to earn Virginia AAA Northern Region Offensive Player of the Year honors, Stewart is expected to play defensive back at UNC. The rising senior intercepted 10 passes for the Patriots during their run to the 2012 Northern Region Division 5 title game.
“I wanted to play defensive back in college. I’m ready to compete and have a chance to be in the starting rotation,” Stewart said. “UNC is already competitive, but I feel like I can bring more competitiveness and a no-fear attitude out there to make plays.”
Stewart joins three other Northern Virginia products who have committed to UNC in Lake Braddock quarterback Caleb Henderson, and T.C. Williams defensive players Jeremiah Clarke and Malik Carney. The UNC coaches basically had another recruiter in Henderson, who made a point to text his good friend Stewart throughout the recruiting process. But ultimately, Stewart said that choosing the Tar Heels stemmed moreso from his own love for the program.
“The decision was based on me, so already having Caleb there didn’t play much of a role but it’ll be nice to play with him,” Stewart said. “I texted him last night and of course, he was happy.”
Previously: Stewart still mulling his finalists
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