Sturgis (Mich.) 6-6, 205-pound sophomore quarterback Chance Stewart has already started to create a buzz in Division I recruiting circles, and one of the teams taking notice is Wisconsin. On Saturday, Stewart was in attendance to see the Badgers host Purdue.
"They had been asking to get me down to a game," Stewart said. "They wanted to get me down for the Nebraska game earlier in the year, but my dad was getting inducted into the Hall of Fame here at Sturgis High School and I didn't want to miss that. Last year they wanted to get me down for a game too, but it just never really worked out.
"It finally worked out this past weekend and it was a nice experience. It's a phenomenal football experience. The atmosphere is great with the student section and all the rituals they do. It was cool to see and I had a blast."
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Wisconsin was tipped off to Stewart's potential last fall by an administrator at a school in Sturgis' conference. Since then he has kept in as much contact with their staff as NCAA rules allow. One of the goals of Saturday's visit to Madison was to meet the Badger's coaching staff face-to-face.
"I talked to Coach [Paul] Chryst, the offensive coordinator and QB coach," Stewart said. "His main thing was, 'I want to see you throw and see you in-person,' so they really want me to go to the camp this summer, which me and my dad will take a trip to Madison for.
"I also talked to the recruiting coach in this area, [DelVaughn] Alexander, and he was the one coach I was with most of the time I was down there. He was kind of showing me around and introduced me to some other guys. He introduced me to Russell Wilson."
Stewart has also received significant interest from in-state Big Ten programs Michigan and Michigan State, but Wisconsin has made their mark early in his recruitment.
"They run the pro-style offense and they have a winning tradition," Stewart said. "Right now I am trying to keep all my options open, but that is the kind of football I want to play."
Stewart plans to follow up his visit to Wisconsin with a trip to Michigan State in two weekends to see the Spartans host Indiana.
This past weekend was the first that Stewart used to visit a college game. His weekends previous have been consumed with his own team's schedule. Sturgis dropped their first round playoff game to Mason on Oct. 28, finishing their season with a 7-3 record.
On the year, Stewart completed 54 percent of his passes for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns against seven interceptions. Three of those interceptions came in his final game of the season, so he only threw four in nine regular season games. While those numbers are impressive for a sophomore signal caller, Stewart is not yet satisfied.
"When you are 7-3, you have to be a little pleased. We were 0-9 two years ago," Stewart said. "But from an individual perspective there were some things I was happy with and some things I wasn't. My completion percentage, I need to get that up for sure. I'm definitely not pleased with that.
"I was happy with the way I controlled the ball, and I was happy with the strides I made this year."