Stewart set for banner year at Harrison

Charles Stewart has already decided he's playing his college football at Michigan.

But the standout senior cornerback's first concern is taking his Farmington Hills Harrison football team back to state title contention.

Stewart verbally committed to the University of Michigan in midsummer. He'll also play tailback for Harrison this season, but plans on playing cornerback for the Wolverines when he starts his college career.

"I've always wanted to go to Michigan," said the 6-foot-2, 190 pound Harrison senior, who had also considered Michigan State. "It's been my favorite since childhood."

For Farmington Hills Harrison, Stewart played cornerback last year and also split end and flanker on offense. He had 59 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

"I've gotten better from last year," Stewart said. "I'm bigger, faster and stronger. I'm going to be carrying the ball a lot more this year."

"He'll be a key player for us, no question," said Harrison coach John Herrington. "In other parts of our game, we're young and we'll have to work on it."

Harrison's all-state running back Marcus Woods has graduated, leaving a void in the backfield.

"I've been working hard this summer to try to fill that in," Stewart said. "Hopefully, I'll do well."

The Hawks expect Stewart to hold down the fort from his corner position.

"I have premium size for a corner," he said. "I can cover a lot of ground for my size"

Stewart takes pride in his power and finesse. "I'm a pretty fast player," he said. "My foot speed will do a lot for me. I can power the ball if I have to."

Any exposure he gets at running back, Stewart said, will be a plus for his college career. As a cornerback, he'll be able to recall the mentality of a running back and, as a result, adjust his defensive strategies accordingly.

This will mark Stewart's fourth year on the varsity level. But in his second year with Harrison, a team that had a five-year state championship streak snapped last season, Stewart hopes to help return the Hawks to their title-winning ways.

"I transferred in from (Detroit) Country Day," he said. "I had played there for two years. It's great to be here where you have some great coaches. They've got a great weight program."

And Stewart hopes that adds up to a trip to the Pontiac Silverdome in November Thanksgiving weekend for the state title game.

"A lot of people might be doubtful," he said. "But I think we'll go very far." Herrington likes his chances with Stewart, but is hoping other standouts will come to the forefront.

"I think we'll be all right, but I don't know if we'll be one of the top teams," Herrington said. "We lost 27 seniors from last year."

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