It would be tough to find a high school athlete happier than Isaiah Stewart.
Today, the talented wide receiver from New Jersey fulfilled his life-long dream of being a Power 5 football player as he signed to join Pitt as a preferred walk-on.
Entering his senior season, Stewart (6’2”, 185) was receiving D-I interest but after injuring his knee at the start of the season, the interest faded–except with Pitt.
“I’ve talking with Coach Salem since the start of the season,” Stewart told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “He’s been talking to me and came to my practices and we started connecting from there.”
”I visited them last weekend. Coach Narduzzi came to my school last Friday but I wasn’t in school. He texted me and said he wanted me to come to Junior Day so we could talk. I went and when I saw Coach Narduzzi he just gave me a big hug. The staff told me how important of a piece I would be and how much they could help me with life after football. I just felt an instant connection that I had with Pitt.”
Stewart knows he’s joining the team as a walk-on but also knows the long history of players at Pitt that started as walk-ons and developed into valuable and productive players. He intends to add his name to this list.
“On the field as well as off the field, you have to have a winning mindset,” said Stewart. “You have to be willing to help your teammates both on and off the field. As far as my abilities, I don’t like to brag or talk about myself, but I think I can be a receiver that will help with my ability to adjust to the ball, reading defenses and being able to get open wish my route-running. I feel like I can be a big part of the offense and help anyway possible. I just want to help and be a part of something great.”
If it sounds like Stewart is a character kid you’re right and it was an emotional day when he told Pitt that he’d be accepting their offer.
”I actually teared up when they gave me this opportunity because this season didn’t go as I planned because of the injury,” said Stewart. “Pitt stayed with me even when I went down because they told me they saw my talent and know I could help the team out.”
”I’m blessed that they gave me this opportunity and I thank God.”
It should be pointed out that Stewart comes from good blood lines as his father Tony was a great running back at Union High School in New Jersey and one of the best backs in Iowa history.