A friend of mine, Matt Alkire of Upper Hand Promotions, introduced me to a recent Pitt offer. Matt’s work at Upper Hand Promotions helps student-athletes gain a competitive advantage in the recruiting process. For any parent or athlete who has gone through the process I’m sure that sounds like a godsend. When I saw on twitter that one of his clients is Rasaan Stewart of Perkiomen Valley, I begged for an interview. Thankfully Rasaan was ready and willing. Here’s what the 6’1 athlete had to say about Pitt, his ideal position, and a few off topic subjects.
First off, congratulations on the Pitt offer. I see you also have an offer from Buffalo and Temple. Which school was the first to offer you?
Buffalo was the first.
You just got your Pitt offer 3 or 4 days ago?
Yeah that sounds about right.
Who has been your main recruiter at Pitt?
No one has come to my school to actually talk to me yet but Dann Kabala (Player Personnel Director) has been talking to me on Facebook a lot and he’s the one that invited me out to go visit.
When are you headed out for the visit?
I have once already but I think I’m going again for an official visit in the summer.
Oakland is beautiful in the summer, you’ll love it. The Cathedral of Learning is surrounded by trees, it’s cool to have class inside.
I went into the Cathedral it’s pretty nice. It’s like a museum
You’re being recruited as an athlete. In an ideal world, what position would you like to play?
I guess I would prefer offense, but i’m the type of person I just like to play football; whatever position I have I want to help my team. I want the opportunity to play. I prefer offense because I like scoring but whatever will help the team.
That’s always the right attitude to have. Before you started interacting with the coaches, did you have an opinion of Pitt, whether it be the school, football or did you really not have an opinion until you started talking to them?
I always thought Pitt was a good school but I wasn’t into it until they started talking to me and that’s when I started looking into it and that’s when i started finding things about it.
If you could tell Pitt fans one thing you would bring to the table what would that be?
I put on a show in high school, so I guess you could say I’d bring electricity and a spark to the program.
How much interaction have you had with other schools recruiting you? Have you visited Temple or Buffalo yet?
I went to Temple to watch one of their spring practices and that was about it. I talked to the coaches. Villanova is another school that has been really close with me but they haven’t offered me yet. They’re the closest to me out of all the schools, they’re right down the street from my school. Their recruiter visits me all the time.
Are you an NFL fan at all?
I like the Saints since I was born in Louisiana. They had a rough season last year but they’ll bounce back.
Well, when you have Drew Brees at QB you never have to fear being out of a game. One other thing I wanted to touch on is that Pitt has unfortunately had a bit of negative publicity with Rushel Shell recently. Do stories like that affect your opinion of a school or is it more that each player is his own man?
I don’t really pay much attention to that stuff. It’s different for each player. They have different paths they want to take for their future, things that they like. You have to look at what an individual person likes about a college. You can’t base your decisions off of other people’s things. It’s trial and error, it’s something you have to experience yourself until you make a sound judgement on it.
Would you prefer a rural campus out in the country and spread out or an urban campus?
I like the city. I don’t want anything in the middle of nowhere.
You don’t want a cow pasture next to your practice field?
*laughs* No, I don’t want that. I want something that’s like a lively campus where you can do stuff on campus and not have to drive.
Do you play any other sports?
I play basketball.
What’s your position? Did you watch the championship game last night?
I play the 3 guard but big guy as well. I’m like the most physical on my team so I guard the big guys and stuff like that. I had Michigan winning last night but I know they played good until the 4th quarter I don’t know what happened.
I watch a lot of Big East Basketball and Louisville just finds a way to close. About 5-10 minutes left in the game they just flip this switch and are like “it’s our game now” and that’s exactly what happened. They flipped that switch.
Both teams were even, it was just whoever showed up at the end of the game.
Rasaan was definitely better at being interviewed than I am at interviewing. He has a good head on his shoulders and will be an asset to whatever school he chooses. It’s always crazy for me to interact with student-athletes like Rasaan and realize how much more mature they are than I recall anyone being at that age. You have all these new people suddenly wanting to talk to you, pulling you in different directions, and he’s taking it in stride. No matter where he goes, he has a fan in me. Maybe I’ll get to see him catch a pass from Drew Brees in 5 or 6 years…or intercept him.