Georgia Tech makes grayshirt offer to Brad Stewart

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has extended a “grayshirt” scholarship offer to Brad Stewart, one of the state’s most overlooked college prospects.

And the 6-foot-1, 190-pound WR/DB from Benedictine Military high school is thinking about accepting it.

Johnson flew to Savannah on Monday for in-home visit with Stewart and his family. They talked for two hours, and Johnson explained that he couldn’t offer a scholarship right now because there wasn’t one available. So he presented an option, according to Stewart’s father.

2015 WR/DB Brad Stewart (AJC)

2015 WR/DB Brad Stewart (AJC)

Johnson made Stewart a rare “grayshirt” offer, promising that Stewart would be put on football scholarship by next January. And if a spot opened up before then due to attrition, Stewart would then be added as a regular member of Georgia Tech’s 2015 football recruiting class.

“It was a great visit, and we couldn’t be more impressed with Coach Johnson,” Stewart’s father said. “He’s class act. He was very open, honest and candid about the situation. He really wants Brad to play for him at Georgia Tech.

“Coach Johnson made it very clear that he felt very strongly that Brad could play at the highest level of college football. He’s watched a ton of film, and he said he was a big fan of Brad and his ability. And that was the reason he got on a plane to see us this close to signing day.”

What’s next for Stewart and Georgia Tech? Johnson told them to think about the opportunity for a few days to process it.

“It’s a little different situation, but Coach Johnson knows it, and that’s why he gave us some time to think about it,” Stewart’s father said. “But the more that we think about it, the more we like it. Georgia Tech is the best of both worlds. It’s an Ivy League-type education, while playing for football team that just finished No. 8 in the nation.

“It can’t get much better than that. Our family will sit down and talk about everything over the next couple of days. All I can say is that we’re thrilled about Georgia Tech after our meeting with Coach Johnson today.”

Stewart is tentatively scheduled to visit Georgia Tech on Jan. 30. He might go on a midweek visit to Georgia Southern, then travel to Syracuse or Furman this weekend. He’s also on the shortlist for last-minute offers from schools such as UCF, Cincinnati and South Carolina.

I thought Stewart was the best out of 40+ major-college prospects during state championship week at the Georgia Dome. In the Class AA finals, Stewart leaped over a defensive back (committed to Tennessee) to make a circus catch for touchdown reception that has been dubbed “The Catch.” Stewart had a monster senior season, with 68 catches for 1,394 yards and 18 touchdowns, while also intercepting eight passes.

It’s baffling to why Stewart isn’t being recruited by more bigger schools because he’s dominated kids with SEC/ACC offers consistently over the last two seasons, including at a junior all-star game which boasted three prospects that are rated 5-star recruits.

Stewart gets praised for his cerebral play and academics (4.24 GPA and 28 ACT), but unfortunately it overshadows his spectacular athleticism — including a 38-inch vertical, 4.52 speed in the 40, his ball-hawking skills, his ability to time his jump to peak when the ball arrives, and his uncanny ability to simply make plays. He has the “it factor” and he proves it repeatedly against the top competition.

Here’s a copy of his new senior film …

TO GET THE BIG PICTURE

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com

mcarvell@ajc.com

— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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