Larenzo Stewart’s phone kept buzzing late Friday night. And it kept right on buzzing early Saturday morning.
Calls, texts, congratulations, requests for interviews.
“It was crazy,” Stewart said.
That’s recruiting for you. Crazy. You never know what’s going to happen. For instance, a kid from Klein, Texas, might end up committing to Nebraska, sight unseen.
“I just learned about them recently,” the running back said. “Like I told my coach, I never thought I’d be committing to Nebraska.”
But the 5-foot-6, 165-pound Stewart said the connection he felt with running backs coach Ron Brown and offensive coordinator Tim Beck was too good for him not to pledge to the Huskers.
“They made me feel like I was part of the team already,” Stewart said.
The speedster also liked Nebraska’s up-tempo offense. It’s no coincidence schools such as Baylor, Houston and Louisiana Tech — all foot-to-the-pedal offenses — were the other schools that had offered Stewart.
Speedy offenses like speedy players, and Stewart is that. He posted an electronic time of 10.45 seconds in the 100 meters at the Texas state track meet this past year. That time would put him right on the heels of a state record in the state of Nebraska, where Papillion-La Vista’s Kenzo Cotton just claimed that prize by running a 10.41.
A product of Klein Oak High School, Stewart comes from the same town as two important Huskers currently on the roster — linebacker David Santos and defensive back Charles Jackson. Those two players attended Klein Collins.
And like another speedy commitment in this class, Demornay Pierson-El, Stewart could play a variety of different roles for this Husker offense. He’s worked as both a running back and wide receiver in high school while competing against some of the best competition in Texas at the 5A level.
Last year, Stewart spent much of his time as a slot receiver, picking up 500 yards on the ground and 243 yards receiving.
Earlier in his career, he played primarily running back, piling up 1,328 yards as a sophomore. For his career, he has more than 2,300 yards on the ground. Stewart also could serve as a return man.
He has not yet been rated by Rivals or FoxSportsNext. He's a three-star prospect, according to ESPN and 247Sports. The 247Sports recruiting site lists him as the No. 13 all-purpose running back in the country and No. 74 player in the state of Texas.
“I’m pretty good, speedwise,” said Stewart when offering a self-analysis. “Make good cuts. Pretty tough. Pretty strong. I can catch pretty well. I understand the game of football pretty well, but I think I can get even better learning about it, understanding things like defensive coverages and all that.”
The commitment of Stewart late Friday night came hours after it was learned that defensive back Jason Hall — holding offers from Texas and Oklahoma — had decommitted from the Huskers.
So much for a slow July. In the course of about 24 hours, the Huskers gained three new commitments and lost an old one. Wide receiver Monte Harrison (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) and tight end Freedom Akinmoladun (Grandview, Mo.) pledged to the Huskers on Thursday night.
All said and done, Nebraska meets this weekend with 11 commits in hand.
Stewart’s commitment also gives the Huskers three prospects from the state of Texas. He joins defensive back Trai Mosley (Pflugerville) and kicker Drew Brown (Carroll).
He does not have a date picked to visit Lincoln at this point but said Husker coaches have been in discussions about getting him here for an official visit.
It remains to be seen whether more programs will come after Stewart, as they did with Hall, after his commitment to Nebraska.
Stewart doesn’t offer any dramatic guarantees about his recruiting process on a Saturday morning in early July, but was feeling content with his decision.
“I feel like I’m done.”
Husker 2014 commits
|Freedom Akinmoladun||TE||6-4/240||Grandview, Mo.(Grandview)|
|Drew Brown||K||5-10/170||Carroll, Texas (Carroll)|
|Zack Darlington||QB||6-1/205||Apopka, Fla. (Apopka)|
|Tanner Farmer||OG||6-4/300||Highland, Ill. (Highland)|
|D.J. Foster||OG||6-3/315||Lincoln Southeast|
|Luke Gifford||ATH||6-2/195||Lincoln Southeast|
|Monte Harrison||WR||6-2/195||Lee's Summit, Mo. (West)|
|Trai Mosley||DB||5-10/170||Plfugerville, Texas (Hendrickson)|
|Demornay Pierson-El||WR||5-9/175||Alexandria, Va. (West Potomac)|
|Larenzo Stewart||RB||5-6/165||Klein, Texas (Oak)|