Tigers pick up huge commitment in 5-star LB Steward

by - Senior Writer -

The Clemson Tigers have taken yet another great player out of the state of Florida.

The No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in the nation (and the 9th-best player overall according to ESPN), Menendez High School’s Tony Steward, picked the Tigers over Florida St. during his signing ceremony at the school Wednesday morning.

With two rows of family behind him, a gymnasium full of teachers and students in front of him and a national television audience looking in on ESPNU, the 5-star recruit got right to the point.

“Next year, I plan on attending Clemson University,” he said as the gymnasium broke into cheers and applause.

Steward admitted that convincing his family that he was not picking the in-state Seminoles was a challenge.

“I think by far the biggest challenge for me was my family,” he said. “But I feel like I made the right decision, and they will support me wherever I go.”

Steward said that Clemson just seemed like the right for him.

“It has a different feel for me,” he said. “I feel like it is a place I can grow up, yet it is close enough I can come home at any time. Clemson is the right place for me. At Clemson, it will be easier for me to grow and grow into my own.”

The addition of Steward (6-2, 225) is a coup for the Tigers. Steward grew up an FSU fan, but Clemson has a history of pulling top players out of the area. In 2006, Union County running back C.J. Spiller surprised many when he chose the Tigers over Florida and FSU.

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