On Courant.com today….
Florida transfer linebacker Graham Stewart, who tore his pectoral muscle in July and had surgery four days later, is ready.
“I feel as good as I’ve ever felt,” Stewart told me by phone.
And that means the redshirt sophomore is getting ready to play in 2013.
I heard he likely would have received the NCAA waiver to play immediately after he transferred in and Stewart said things were looking good, heading in that direction he believed but when the injury occurred it didn’t matter.
I’m doing a story on Graham for the weekend. He had a lot to say and is an incredibly bright kid which you’ll get a taste of now because I want to leave this piece of the interview here for you to read today.
In his own words, his opinion – and as a person who has experienced both – Stewart talks about what he thinks it will take for the UConn football program to reach the level of a Florida and the like.
It involves you….
UConn sophomore linebacker Graham Stewart, the Florida transfer and former Xavier-Middletown star from Durham, will miss the 2012 season because of torn pectoral muscle.
Stewart injured himself during a workout on July 23 and underwent surgery four days later.
Stewart, who will have three seasons to play for the Huskies, was seeking an NCAA waiver to play right away but UConn never completed the process once the injury became an issue.
Normally, student-athletes transferring from one Division I-A school to another have to sit out a year.
Stewart elected to transfer to be close to home. He told The Courant in April he needed to be close to home and his family.
There’s still no word on whether he will receive a waiver from the NCAA allowing him to play right away but former Xavier-Middletown and Florida reserve linebacker Graham Stewart who once had UConn atop his recruiting list, is officially a Husky, enrolled in school and taking summer classes.
Between this and the preferred walk-on status given to Sean Marinan Jr. things could be looking real good in landing X senior QB Tim Boyle.
Boyle is a boss (that means he’s good) . I hear that on the regular and more and also that more programs are catching on to this young man…
Heck of a program over at Xavier…
Anyway here’s the release from UConn on Stewart….
UConn Athletic Communications – May 31, 2012 – Stewart Transfers To UConn
STORRS, Conn. (May 31, 2012) — Graham Stewart, a 6-1, 227-pound linebacker from Durham, Conn., has transferred to the University of Connecticut after spending the 2011-12 academic year at Florida. Stewart will have three years of eligibility at Connecticut and is currently enrolled in summer school courses at UConn.
Stewart saw action in 12 games as a true freshman last year for the Gators with one tackle. He scored a touchdown in the Gator Bowl against Ohio State after returning a blocked punt 14 yards for the score.
Stewart attended Xavier High School in Middletown, Conn. He had 111 tackles with five sacks and an interception in his senior year of 2010. The Xavier defense gave up just 116 points in 13 games in 2010. He helped lead Xavier to the 2010 Connecticut Class LL State Championship with a 13-0 record and the team was first in the final state rankings.
He was named the Hartford Courant’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, was an All-State selection by the New Haven Register and played in the Team USA vs. World All-Star Game following his senior season. He was also an All-Southern Connecticut Conference selection.
Florida transfer and Xavier-Middletown standout linebacker Graham Stewart is set to visit UConn Wednesday.
Stewart said he is transferring to UConn but now the grades and paperwork and credit stuff comes into play. Can be tricky sometimes when transferring. And…sometimes…not.
Will keep you posted
What’s goin on?
I trust you all saw my tweets this morning about Graham Stewart, the Florida reserve linebacker and former Xavier-Middletown star told me by phone he was transferring to UConn. Stewart was in South Carolina when we spoke.
A quick refresher on Stewart: stud linebacker at Xavier who allowed us here a first-hand, inside look at how he was handling the recruiting process; had UConn at the top of his list but committed Boston College. When an offer opened up at Florida, the school he really liked the most at the time, that was it. He played in 12 games for the Gators on special teams and picked up a blocked punt and raced it in for a touchdown in the Gator Bowl.
“Man, you know what? I’m so excited and happy. This is the most excited and happy I’ve been in awhile,” Stewart said when asked about coming back home to play.
Stewart said his decision is final, no one else is getting involved. He is scheduled to visit UConn, unofficially, next week to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts on this but there shouldn’t be any reason why the transfer won’t go through.
The issue issue is whether Stewart will be able to get a hardship waiver to play this season which he wants to do.
You see, Stewart decided to leave Florida after one season for personal reasons, he said, required he be close to home. He reiterated that Saturday (Stewart is all about his family so him transferring to be closer to them isn’t really a surprise).
Now, to be clear, these hardship waivers are awfully hard to get – but not impossible.
From the good deeds department Florida coach Will Muschamp, looking out for the kid, has already written a letter to the NCAA on his behalf. Now Stewart is going to have write to the governing body of college athletics also – and UConn will have to write one as well to help Stewart’s cause.
“I’m hoping, keeping my fingers crossed,” Stewart said.
In the event the waiver doesn’t happen it’s still a win-win for Stewart. He’ll be at home and be a redshirt sophomore when he is eligible in 2013.
Allright let’s hear from Graham.