Throughout this offseason, we’ll spotlight Class of 2013 quarterbacks who have a shot at making the Elite 11 finals in July. This week we profile St. Pius X (Houston) signal-caller Kohl Stewart.
Believe it or not, baseball is Kohl Stewart's first love. Football didn't truly come into the picture until his freshman year at St. Pius X (Houston). Sure, Stewart had suited up at quarterback during his younger days, but his arm didn't get used very often. "The only thing I remember is that all we did was run," Stewart recalls with a laugh.
Boy, have things changed.
Baseball is still there, what with Stewart batting .330 with 30 RBIs while striking out 42 batters as an outfielder and right-handed pitcher last year. But the talk these days is of Stewart's quarterback skills on the gridiron. As a junior, he passed for 3,167 yards with 30 touchdowns for the Panthers.
Stewart, who has committed to play football and baseball at Texas A&M, took time to talk about his dual-sport love, college commitment and development as a quarterback.
ESPNHS: What are some of your earliest memories of football?
Stewart: I played two years of football when I was younger in little league, but my first year really playing football after that was my freshman year because I didn't play in junior high. I really learned to throw at St. Pius X. Playing baseball helped because the throwing motion was there and that helped mold the way I did things as a quarterback.
ESPNHS: Considering your late start, what was it like to get attention so early from colleges?
Stewart: It was a shocker to me that colleges were contacting me after my sophomore year. Everything was so fresh and I had broken my collarbone as a freshman, so when I came in for my sophomore year, I didn't get even know if I would start. But it happened and I became pretty capable from that position.
ESPNHS: What's your favorite sport, football or baseball?
Stewart: I don't really have a favorite. I've played baseball longer, so football is more fresh and there are a lot more wheels turning in head because it's new to me. I love playing both and will try to play both in college.
ESPNHS: Is Texas high school football just like they portray it on TV shows and movies?
Stewart: It definitely is. We've played a few teams here and I don't think I've seen people travel like they do for football games here. People will fill up our stadium from other schools. It's almost like the whole town shuts down for those Friday night lights in the fall. Everybody is going somewhere to see a game.
ESPNHS: What are your strengths as a quarterback?
Stewart: We've had a lot of good receivers, so they help make me look pretty good. My arm is where I can make certain throws that college quarterbacks can make. I feel like I know how to read defenses, too. My arm is my biggest strength in just making throws that other guys can't.
ESPNHS: What are some things you plan to work on this offseason?
Stewart: Just throwing to the right guy. It's really important that I get better at making sure I read the play correctly and get the ball to a guy that's in the best position to make a play.
ESPNHS: What impact would making the Elite 11 have on your development?
Stewart: It'd be an honor to play with guys that good and learn from the counselors, like Trent Dilfer. Having guys like that who played at the pro level can obviously teach you a lot, so I'd really look forward to the chance to be there.
ESPNHS: What made you commit to Texas A&M so early?
Stewart: Just the family feel. My family has been associating with Texas A&M for as long as I can remember because both my parents went there. We live an hour from campus, so it's pretty much home for me.
School: St. Pius X (Houston)
College: Texas A&M
2011 Team Record: 5-7 (lost in TAPPS Division I quarterfinals)
Completions-Attempts: 172-312 (.551)
Brandon Parker covers high school sports for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.