- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN 300 athlete ArDarius Stewart (Fultondale, Ala./Fultondale) visited Alabama on Saturday for the Western Carolina game, but the real excitement came well after the Crimson Tide played. The real excitement came later that night.
“When I came down, I knew they were going to win,” Stewart said. “I’m just glad they bounced back after last week, and things actually fell in place for Alabama with Oregon losing and Kansas State losing.”
Stewart, one of Alabama’s first commitments in 2013, stayed late in Tuscaloosa to watch as Baylor defeated Kansas State and Stanford stunned Oregon in overtime. With the Tide back in the mix for another national championship, the town reacted like it had just beaten a top 10 opponent.
“Everybody was happy, very happy that Alabama was back in it,” Stewart said. “I’m glad they’re back in it.”
On Friday night, Stewart did his part to help his own team stay alive in the playoffs. In a second-round victory over Fyffe High School, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound athlete carried the ball 28 times for 351 yards and seven touchdowns.
“I was just happy that we were able to win,” Stewart said. “Everything fell in place. Everything went right. We didn’t have too many mistakes on offense.
“There were just a lot of open holes, and the line was blocking perfect. Even if they shifted to the side I was running to, a hole would open up on the back side. I just credit my line, my offensive line play.”
After the Alabama game on Saturday, the UA coaching staff congratulated Stewart on his seven-touchdown performance. The Tide commitment plans to be back in Tuscaloosa next weekend for the Iron Bowl.
“I think it will be a domination, a lot to a little for Bama,” Stewart said.
6dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
6dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf