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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Coach's take: QB Kohl Stewart

By Sam Khan Jr.

"Coach's take" is a series that allows GigEmNation to offer readers a closer look at the incoming recruits in Texas A&M's 2013 class by visiting with someone who coached the player or coached against him. Today, we take a look at Houston St. Pius X quarterback Kohl Stewart by visiting with his head football coach, Blake Ware.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Stewart was an Under Armour All-American and is a four-star prospect, ranked No. 6 nationally among pocket passers. He's 96th overall in the ESPN 150 and was named the Touchdown Club of Houston's Player of the Year in area private schools.

He finished with 2,535 passing yards and 28 touchdowns in the 2012 season and compiled 8,803 passing yards and 87 touchdowns in three varsity seasons at St. Pius X. He's also a star pitcher on the baseball team who could be a high first-round pick in the MLB draft this summer.

Here's Ware's take on Stewart, who committed to Texas A&M on July 23, 2011:

GigEmNation: What was your first impression of Stewart when you arrived at St. Pius X?
Blake Ware: "As far as a kid, just unbelievable class. He is a very hard worker and he had the ability already. I noticed that instantly. As far as his ability as a quarterback and a football player, it didn't take more than the second or third throw on film for me to say, 'I've got something pretty good on my hands.' He made some throws as a sophomore that I don't know a lot of kids playing high school football, period, can make. It was definitely a sweet surprise to walk in [to St. Pius X] and have that guy be your quarterback."

GEN: What are his biggest strengths?
BW: "His ability to get rid of the football, his quick release, his ability to move around. I know he's ranked as a pocket passer but he can move a lot better than people think. He's a guy that he understands the game. It was a process with him because as a sophomore, he really didn't understand defenses. But he had some tools, as far as receivers, to be able to throw the ball downfield. When I got here, one of his first things was that he was worried about throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Once you start to understand defenses and how to apply our offense against those defenses, I mean, it just became a lot of fun. Even in his senior year, there were a lot of times when he was looking at me and checking the play to me to make sure it was OK to run the play he thought we should run and more times than not, I let him because it was there. Him walking out of the doors of St. Pius, his biggest strengths are his release, his accuracy down the field and his ability to attack defenses."

GEN: What are the areas he needs work in as he transitions to the college level?
BW: "Throwing the ball on time. That's going to come. He got away with some things because it was high school. When he goes to college, he's going to have to get rid of that ball a lot quicker, because the guys he's going to be throwing against are going to be quicker. I think that's something he understands that he'll have to work on."

GEN: If he does end up at Texas A&M, how do you see him fitting in that offense?
BW: "I think they're going to be able to do a lot of the things they want to do as far as throwing the ball to any area of the field. Johnny Manziel is a very, very mobile guy. Kohl is not that, but he can move. Where Kohl will be able to do things is where he can put the ball and how fast that ball gets there. If he ends up being the guy, they're going to able to put the ball in some locations that they don't right now."

GEN: What's he like off the field?
BW: "He's an all-around kid. He has a great family and he's a super individual. He's very conscientious of everything that's going on around him. He enjoys his teammates; he enjoys the coaches. He understands what his role is and he does his job. I think that at A&M, if he ends up there -- and I hope he does -- they're going to have a guy that will always be there for them. He's a guy that will be a social asset to that football program. Academically he's going to be solid. There's a lot to look for and the ceiling is high for him."

GEN: What will your lasting memory of him be?
BW: "The morning after he got hurt against St. Thomas, he sent me a text, because that's when he found out that he was probably done for the season. It said, 'I'm numb right now. Won't be able to finish the year. But whatever you need me to do with Sean, [Killpatrick, who was the quarterback replacing him] I will be there for the rest of the way with you. Whatever you need me to do, coach, I'm here for you. Thanks for everything you've done for me.' To me, that means a lot. Here's a guy that's going to have a lot of success, no matter what the endeavor is and he was just told his high school football career is done. And that's his text to me. That tells you who he is."