While it’s been a somewhat quiet spring for Michigan State on the recruiting trail, the Spartans have started to make some noise over the course of the last month, picking up a commitment from 4-star safety Darius Snow last month and landed a commitment from Gibraltar (MI) Carlson 2020 3-star receiver Ian Stewart over the weekend.
Spartan Nation caught up with the 6-foot-3, 185-pound standout to discuss his commitment to the Spartans and Stewart said that head coach Mark Dantonio was a major factor as to why he ultimately chose Michigan State over 28 other Division 1 offers.
“Really, just coach Dantonio and his body of work, what he could do,” he said. “Coach Dantonio can have a three win season and he can change that right away without changing any staff and that’s just a reassuring feeling to know that the same people are going to be coaching you up and getting you better year in and year out while accomplishing great things and winning championships. That’s really what sold me on MSU and I like being close to home too.”
Before committing to the Spartans, Stewart built an impressive list of offers, including offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, North Carolina State, Penn State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse and West Virginia.
A capable player on the defensive side of the football, Stewart told Spartan Nation that the Michigan State coaching staff has not indicated to him that they have an interest in playing him on defense when he arrives in East Lansing.
Despite playing quarterback for his high school Stewart has already shown the ability to be an elite level receiver, but admitted that he would like to improve his route running and technique before he officially joins the Spartans in 2020.
“For me, personally, I have to polish my route running,” he said. “Being a quarterback, I don’t always get a chance to do that in the season, so in the offseason, I really have to capitalize on hitting the field, getting with coach Mason once I get my groin healed and just crafting my routes. Getting faster, getting stronger – obviously as every player should try to do. But from a technique standpoint I need to get my routes better, for sure.”
A fast, athletic and physical athlete, Stewart has shown the ability to be a jack-of-all-trades type of player at the high school level, which is something that the Spartans like in the 3-star receiver and Stewart said that the coaching staff has specifically said his versatility and playmaking ability stands out on film.
But when he steps into the receiver position at Michigan State, Stewart will bring plenty of physicality with him, something he learned to play with while playing on the defensive side of the ball at Carlson.
“Where that really came from was my first year of playing defense, my sophomore year,” he said. “We ran a Wing-T and I really didn’t get any touches – I played tight end on offense and linebacker on defense – I made an impact on offense, but I wanted the ball. Our offense, we had opportunities to throw it at some point, I was just thinking I just have to make the best of this year, I have to go crazy on defense. Every single play, I have to know the right read, I have to beat my guy there, I have to make contact with him, so that’s what really gave me that edge and I fell in love with it.”
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