The second commit in two days from earlier this week, Jack Stewart is another under-recruited prospect from the Northeast that Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown have had their focus on. At 6-5, 280 pounds, Stewart has the build and athleticism to play either guard or tackle in college.
Ranked as a three-star and the 83rd tackle in his class, Stewart does not have an offer sheet that matches that ranking. Michigan beat the likes of Texas A&M, TCU, Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Kentucky and Ole Miss for the recruit. Being from Connecticut and not attending any camps to show off his talent has led Stewart to be stuck on the wrong side of 1000 in the overall player rankings. Looking at his film, though, and it is easy to see that a massive rankings bump will be in order once he gets more eyes on him.
Stewart’s junior year highlights can be found HERE
Stewart is an absolute mauler. Watching his tape, you can see that he’s a fierce competitor and loves punishing people. These traits are especially helpful in the running game.
Watch Stewart escort his man five yards out of bounds here.
This is a great example of how he uses his hands well to lock on to his opponent, then keeps his legs moving to drive the defensive end against his will.
This happens again on his reel, and this time Stewart gets a running start.
While pulling to the outside on a bootleg by the quarterback, Stewart picks up the man that the tight end was trying to reach. Instead of trying to turn him back in, Stewart takes a simpler route and just keeps taking him outside. Way, way outside.
Here’s another play where Stewart’s tenacity shows. Playing guard here, Stewart down-blocks the man to his left. However, he doesn’t quite get his hands inside the guy’s shoulder pads, so he is able to slip away for a moment. But, Stewart recovers well to catch up and pancake the guy, along with his own teammate.
This is also a good example of how Stewart doesn’t stop moving his feet and doesn’t give up on the play. This mindset is what you want in an offensive lineman.
One of the qualities that allows Stewart to be able to finish blocks as well as he does is his strength. Stewart possesses both great upper and lower body strength. The blocks above shows his lower body strength, since driving those defensive lineman uses mostly his legs.
There are plenty of example of Stewart using his upper body strength as well.
While stepping back to pass block, Stewart is looking for someone to help with. Finding no one to his outside, he looks to help the guard next to him. Help is definitely provided. Stewart easily shoves the guy to the ground before he even has a chance to engage with the guard.
Playing in Connecticut, Stewart obviously is not facing the highest level of competition possible. However, as an FBS prospect, he should be dominating, and that’s what he’s doing. Throw in the fact that Stewart is an outstanding wrestler as well, and it confirms that his strength is legitimate.
I think that Stewart’s strength shows even more when he lines up at defensive tackle. Here, he blows back the guard off the snap, giving him a clear shot to the running back behind the line of scrimmage.
Seeing how effortlessly he moves the people in front of him bodes well for a great future as a lineman.
One of the areas I noticed that Stewart could improve on is moving his feet quicker off the snap. A couple of times, he lets the defensive lineman get a step on him because they get off the ball faster.
Here’s the first play that I showed earlier.
Yes, Stewart does a great job of getting his hands on his man and driving him. But if you look closely at when the ball is snapped, you can see that the defensive end has taken two steps before Stewart gets out of his stance.
Stewart also takes a false step with his right foot to the inside first, allowing the end to get even more depth against him. Thankfully, it works for Stewart as he could just let his man take himself out of the play as the run was planned to be between him and the guard. But, Stewart ends up pushing him parallel to the line of scrimmage, showing how much depth he allowed his man to get on him.
Here’s another example of Stewart getting off slow on the snap.
The defensive tackle here is too fast for Stewart, causing him to lunge. Once he’s in this position, it’s hard for an offensive lineman to win. Stewart has to resort to effectively tackling the guy, which he can because he is probably much stronger than anyone on the field.
This slow and messy footwork will need to be cleaned up by Michigan’s coaching staff. Not only will Big Ten linemen be quicker and stronger, they’ll also be running more complicated stunts and blitzes.
Stewart could be competing for a starting job on the interior when he steps on campus. Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu will have graduated, leaving players such as Stephen Spanellis, Joel Honigford, Chuck Filiaga and fellow 2019 pledge Nolan Rumler to fill the gaps. Personally, I think Stewart will take at least a red shirt year and probably see the field when the class of 2017 linemen graduate if they win the job.
When that happens, Michigan will have a mean road grader creating holes for their backs.