CLEARWATER – Ra’Shaad Stewart is part of a dangerous three-headed backfield at Clearwater Central Catholic.
Along with fellow rising seniors, Jervon Newton and CJ Cotman, Stewart is given an opportunity to make plays out of the Marauders backfield. He accounted for 22 percent of CCC’s rushing attack last season with 78 runs for 621 yards and eight touchdowns.
“It’s interesting because not one of us has to do all the work,” Stewart told Prep Sports Scouting. “We can feed of off each other during the game. It will hopefully help keep us healthy this year.”
Stewart says that he’ll split time in the backfield with Jervon Newton and Cotman, a Tennessee committ who will line up in the slot often. The team has wildcat packages in place to get all three players on the field at the same time.
The 6’1″, 175-pounder also doubles as a cornerback. He started there as a sophomore (94 tackles, 24 pass breakups) and again as a junior where he had 65 tackles, 22 pass deflections and an interception.
Stewart has been a part of all three of CCC’s deep runs over the last past three seasons. He was called up to varsity late in his freshman season and played in the Class 3A state title loss to Jacksonville Trinity Christian.
The Marauders have gone 34-6 over the past three seasons including a 12-1 record in 2015. However, Delray Beach American Heritage has beaten CCC in the 3A state semifinals in both 2014 and 2015.
He says being a part of so much success has helped mold him and his teammates.
“It was good to be one of the main leaders of the team and be a big part of that run,” he said about last season. “Hopefully, we can duplicate it this year and go further.”
Stewart says that practices have been high energy all summer. He expects his group to make a “splash” this year.
The Marauders beat Clearwater 21-14 in the spring game. Stewart had a 30-yard touchdown right in front of his own team’s bench that was absolutely ridiculous (video here). It looked like he was down, but he planted his hand on the ground, got up and took it the house. He also had a team-high two interceptions.
“We had a very good game on both sides of the ball and have been trying to build off of that. That was a really good game for us.”
Starting his football career at age 5, Stewart playing mainly running back. It wasn’t until he arrived at CCC until he played cornerback, a position he says he’s grown into and feels like he can make a career out of.
As for his confidence, he says he found that early on in little league.
“I knew after scoring a lot of touchdowns as a running back that I could go far with this if I continued to work hard.”
CCC opens up its regular season slate against Berkeley Prep next Thursday at home. Stewart has his eye on the Week 5 matchup at Tampa Catholic.
He calls his biggest strengths on defense, his man coverage skills and run support. On offense, he prides himself on being an elusive playmaker. He wants to focus on his technique at corner and improve his overall understanding of the offense.
Currently, Stewart has 17 total offers. Boston College, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky and Louisville are his top four. All four schools see him as a cornerback. He’s planning to take visits to his “Top Four” this year.
Longtime CCC head coach John Davis retired in December after serving 14 years as the man in charge. He posted a 54-11 record as his group made it to the state tournament four consecutive seasons including three state semifinals and one state final. He coached nine years prior during his first stint from 1994-2002. His son-in-law Chris Harvey took over the job this off-season after serving as the defensive line coach.
Stewart says not much has changed since Davis left the program.
“We do a lot of the same thing, he just put a little tweak to it. Coach Harvey brings a lot of energy to the team.”
He calls his biggest role model his father.
“He’s been with me every step of the way. He’s been instrumental in my life. He gets me ready for everything, not just football.”
Stewart’s ultimate goal is to make it to the NFL, but he wants to focus on truly enjoying the game. He plans to major in broadcasting and communications and minor in business in college.
This kid is laser focused. I saw how crafty of a player he is firsthand in this year’s spring game. He has a leaping ability that is up there with the top cornerbacks in the state.
Ra’Shaad Stewart can get the job done at either running back and cornerback simply because he is that athletic. Length is his friend at cornerback where he will excel at the next level because he plays the game with so much toughness.
Favorite players to watch – Jets CB Darrelle Revis, Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson
Playlist before games – Kodak Black, Future, Drake
Favorite movies – The Friday series
Favorite TV shows – Law and Order, Criminal Minds, Last Chance U
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I’m really into history that’s my favorite subject. I like watching movies about World War I, II and the Korean War.”
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “Shaad”, “Lovebug”
Game film: Stewart’s Hudl tape
In case you missed it:
1-on-1 with Clearwater Central Catholic RB/DB Jervon Newton
1-on-1 with Clearwater Central Catholic LB Deandre Fitz-Henley
1-on-1 with Clearwater Central Catholic WR Amari Burney
1-on-1 with CCC DE Jerquan Newton
Photo credit: Rivals
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.