Top VA Athlete Eyes Summer Decision

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Yorktown (Arlington, VA) rising senior MJ Stewart was one of the top performers at last Sunday’s Nike Football Training Camp in Ashburn (VA), as evidenced by the fact that he was one of only seven campers to earn an invite to Nike’s The Opening, an invite-only combine event that will take place at Nike Headquarters in Oregon.

“It feels good, you know, all my hard work has paid off,” a proud Stewart said shortly after the conclusion of the NFTC.  “There are still some things I could have improved on, but overall I think I did all right.  It was a lot of talent up here, and I’m glad to be competing with all this talent.”

Of the invite to The Opening, which features 150 of the top players in the country, Stewart said:  “They told me, but it hasn’t hit me yet.  When I get home I’ll probably jump up and down (laughs), so it’ll hit me when I get home.”

Stewart was one of the most productive two-way players in the state his junior season, when he rushed for 1,847 yards, scored 32 touchdowns, and racked up 10 interceptions. The 5’11”, 185-pound prospect wants to play defense in college, and last Sunday he competed as a cornerback.

Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Northwestern, Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and West Virginia make up the list of schools that have offered Stewart, who wants to be committed to a school by the end of the summer.  He wants to enroll in college in January of 2014.

In terms of favorites, Stewart is not giving away any information on that front.

“I’m still undecided.  There’s no favorite at this point,” Stewart said.  “When I make my decision, I kind of want to make it a surprise.  I don’t want to say anything that would be false or taken the wrong way.”

Both Virginia and Virginia Tech are serious contenders, Stewart says.

“I kind of like both,” he said.  “My coach, he likes UVa and Tech.  He wants me to stay in-state, but I’m not sure about that yet.”

Asked to compare the two in-state ACC programs, Stewart said:  “They’re both great schools.  Great academic schools.  Great programs, too.  You can’t go wrong with either one, really.  They’re both rivals.  The UVa/Virginia Tech game always a big game, a great atmosphere.”