SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Tony Steward didn’t get to take part in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl festivities, but his short time in San Antonio was a fun one.
Hobbled and using crutches after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL, Steward could only watch, but he was more than thrilled to see his East teammates bring home the 13-10 win.
“It was a fun experience. I enjoyed it,” said Steward, who arrived in San Antonio Thursday night. “It was different. I’ve never been to Texas before.
“It would have been better if I would have been able to play, but it was good coming out here representing my school, my family.”
With Steward not participating in the football part of the Army week, that gave players more time to hound him about recruiting. Commits from plenty of different schools were trying to get in his ear about following them. Steward said he talked to a few about playing with them in college, but wouldn’t name names.
Steward, whom Rivals.com ranks as the No. 1 outside linebacker, said he’s down to Florida State, Clemson, UCLA and Florida. He eliminated Alabama from his lists of finalists.
“I don’t have the interest in Alabama that I do in other schools,” he said.
The two teams Steward has consistently listed as his favorites are FSU and Clemson. Steward grew up a Seminoles fan, while he likes the low key atmosphere at Clemson. Word is that FSU has the advantage, but Clemson is right behind.
That leaves Florida and UCLA. Steward visited UCLA in December and has been to Florida numerous times in the past year.
For Florida, hiring Will Muschamp as the new coach is a major plus for Steward.
“He’s a defensive guy. He came earlier this week to talk to him. He’s trying to get me to just get on campus for a visit,” Steward said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get that done.”
Steward said he could head to Gainesville for a mid-week visit before National Signing Day on Feb. 2.
When talking to Steward, you can tell he’s tired of the recruiting process and might even hate it. He’s just ready for all of this to be over.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to make a decision soon,” he said.