GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Brad Stewart has narrowed his list of 40 offers to a half-dozen schools.
The 4-star cornerback from New Orleans announced six finalists Thursday: Arizona State, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Southern Cal.
“I talked to my family and my coaches about it,” Stewart told SEC Country. “We all sat down at the table and actually looked at every school — the amount of players leaving and the amount of commits coming in. Also which schools could coach me up for the next level.”
Stewart said the hardest school to eliminate was Arkansas.
“I had a great relationship with the coaches, but I just felt that wasn’t the best spot for me to put on as a DB and get known,” Stewart said.
The 6-foot, 194-pound prospect gave his thoughts on each finalist:
Florida: “Coach (Torrian) Gray and coach (Tim) Skipper, those are my dudes. They’ve been recruiting me and coming hard. They’ve never stopped, actually. They play a big part. With coach (Geoff) Collins, I don’t feel it will make a difference. All the coaches that talk to me are still there and they’re having success.”
Arizona State: “Me and coach (John) Simon have been keeping up with each other a lot. He’s been recruiting me since I was in the 10th grade. So we’ve built a relationship and I think I’ll give ASU a shot.”
Kansas: “Coach Tony Hull recruits down South and is trying build that program. If I were to choose them, I could be a part of that and make a difference in that program.”
Oklahoma: “They’re winning. They’re the champs in their conference and they always have a top 25 ranking. Their coaching staff has been on me for a minute, too.”
Virginia Tech: “SEC schools claim it, but V. Tech can make a case for ‘DBU.’ The statistics are there. That’s a spot where you can go and not have to worry about another person’s job. Everybody plays their part in the secondary. I think V. Tech is on the come up.”
Southern Cal: “The Trojans have come on strong the past two months. With the people they’re losing, I know I’ll have a chance to come in there and play as a true freshman. That’s something I’m looking into.”
Stewart is a consensus 4-star defensive back, but he’s rated as a corner by 247Sports and Scout and a safety by ESPN and Rivals. He doesn’t prefer one position over the other.
“I’ll leave that up to the coaches,” said Stewart, who is being recruited as a cornerback by Florida. “Whatever program I come into, I just to want to have an opportunity to play as a true freshman. But I want to go out and show why I should be on the field.”
Stewart said he plans to officially visit Florida, Virginia Tech and Southern Cal in January, then make a decision on National Signing Day.
“My main goal is to play as a true freshman and have a good relationship with the coaches,” he said. “So it’s about the bond I feel and getting that opportunity.”