January 28, 2012

In-state junior commits to UA

The University of Alabama's 2013 recruiting class is already beginning to fill up, and in-state junior ArDarius Stewart jumped on board and committed to the Crimson Tide on Saturday.

Stewart, who plays at Fultondale High School, picked up a scholarship offer from the UA staff and made his decision shortly thereafter. He was already in Tuscaloosa for Alabama's first Junior Day of the year.

"It's home," Fultondale head coach Keith Register said. "It's close for the family to get back and forth. They just won a national championship. There's a lot of positives there, and I think that weighed in his mind."

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete had offers from Auburn and Utah, but Register believes that he knew all along where he wanted to go to school. It was just a matter of getting the offer from Alabama.

"Yeah, I think so," Register said. "ArDarius is very tight-lipped about a lot of things, but I think that's been the choice for him. All of his family likes Alabama. If you live in Alabama, if you live in this part of the world, you're either either Alabama or Auburn, and they've been Alabama fans for years.

"What Coach Saban has done over there in the past couple of years since he's been there, and the things that they offer outside of football, how they graduate kids and how they take care of kids, a lot of that weighed in his mind and his mom and dad's mind."

As a junior, Stewart played quarterback and defensive back for Fultondale. He rushed 2,200 yards and 30 touchdowns and also passed for 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns. Including an interception return and a kickoff return, he finished with 52 touchdowns on the year.

At the next level, Stewart isn't sure what position he wants to play. He just wants to get on the field.

"I know he wants to go there and play," Register said. "They could put him anywhere. They could put him at offensive tackle, whatever they want, and he'll play as hard as he can. Who knows where they'll end up putting up. Defensive back may be more of a logical choice, but then again, who knows. He just wants to go play."

Stewart becomes the sixth commitment in the Crimson Tide's 2013 class and the second of the day. Junior running back Altee Tenpenny also gave a verbal commitment to Alabama on Saturday while in town for Junior Day.

Stay tuned for more as TideSports.com expects to catch up with Stewart after he finishes up his visit.

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