The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Sports Editor 

Tigers' QB Luke Stewart Signs With Averett University

 

February 14, 2019

Jeremiah Reed

On Tuesday, Rosman senior quarterback Luke Stewart signed his letter of intent to play football for the Averett University Cougars. Stewart was a three-year starter for the Tigers and saw his passing game flourish under the spread offense implemented by head coach Matt Stack, as he threw for 2,416 yards and 16 TDs as a senior.

As a three-year starting varsity quarterback, Rosman senior Luke Stewart has been the face of the Tigers the past few seasons.

Now, he's looking to make the transition of going under center at the collegiate level as he signed his letter of intent to play football for Averett University on Tuesday.

Stewart officially committed to Averett last Wedneday as part of National Signing Day, but held off on his signing ceremony until this week.

As a three-sport varsity athlete, Stewart has a busy workload and said he was glad to have his decision behind him.

"This is surreal," he said. "It's a great feeling, especially after all the hard work that I've put in. When I committed last week, I was so happy to have it out of the way and get on with enjoying my senior year."

As quarterback, Stewart was the focal point of a complete transition in the Tigers' offense during his time at Rosman.

He started his varsity career as a sophomore under former Tiger head coach Freddie Whitman.

Whitman's offense was run-heavy, keeping the ball on the ground twice as much as the Tigers took to the air.

A broken wrist also hindered Stewart's ability to take direct snaps under center, leading him to pass mostly out of the shotgun formation.

But all that changed when Rosman hired current head coach Matt Stack in 2017.

Stack brought the spread offense to Tiger Town, and, with it, ushered in a new offensive era.

"When coach Stack came in, he brought in the spread and opened up the passing game. That allowed me to make checks and audible at the line. I had to learn a huge playbook in two months, but it really helped me open my game up," Stewart said.

The results were immediate. As a junior, Stewart doubled his passing yards from his sophomore season, finishing with 2,119 yards, and tripled his number of touchdown passes to 15.

By his senior season, Stewart knew the playbook front to back, and Stack allowed him some freedom on the field when it came to playcalling.

"I felt completely comfortable with the offense this season," Stewart said.

This past fall, Stewart set season-highs in passing yards (2,416), passing TDs (16), completion percentage (60 percent) and rushing yards (302).

The senior said his greatest improvement came in his ability to read a defense pre-snap and look for the open windows for receivers.

"I would say my decision making and reads have improved the most. Playing quarterback is difficult, especially when you have to learn a new playbook. So, you have to learn how to be able to read the field, from your short passes all the way to your deep passes," Stewart said.

For all the personal development, it was a tough three-year stretch for the Tigers, as Rosman went 2-10 in Stewart's sophomore and junior season before finishing 3-9 in 2018.

Despite all the ups and downs, Stewart said he was proud of his teammates for sticking beside each other and fighting hard every Friday night.

"It was tough. There were some times where we had guys with bad attitudes, but we did what we could to fix it and tried to stay positive every day. We still had fun going out there and playing our senior year together," he said.

As for the decision to play for Averett, Stewart said he was sold after meeting the coaching staff, and valued the university's academic standards.

In terms of scholastics, Stewart said he plans on majoring in sports management and wants to work in the front office for a sports team or become a coach.

 
 

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