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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 7, 2009

UH gets Oklahoma prep WR

By Stephen Tsai
HawaiiWarriorBeat.com Editor

A warm reception partially helped the University of Hawai'i football team land an all-state receiver from Oklahoma.

"I really like the weather over there," said Destin "D-Stew" Stewart, who yesterday accepted a football scholarship from the Warriors. "The year-round weather is always warm. Right now (in Oklahoma), it's a little cold. It's in the 20s."

Stewart emphasized he also was attracted to the Warriors' four-wide passing attack, the coaching staff and his future teammates.

"Those are the reasons I decided to commit to Hawai'i," Stewart said.

Stewart, a senior at Oklahoma City's Douglass High, said he is 6 feet 4, 200 pounds and can run 40 yards in 4.5 seconds.

He was named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association's 2008 All-State team as a receiver, despite playing in a run-oriented offense.

www.Rivals.com listed Stewart in its Oklahoma High Top-35 list of prospects.

He even was named to the Daily Oklahoman's All-State second team as a punter.

"I don't know my average," he said. "I just kicked it as far as possible."

A couple of months ago, Stewart made a verbal commitment to Tulsa. But a few weeks after that, he said, "I de-committed."

He added: "I wanted to get away from Oklahoma, really."

Stewart received offers from Kansas State, Toledo and Wyoming, and interest from Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma State.

But after visiting Hawai'i the weekend before the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, Stewart said: "Hawai'i felt like the best fit. I really liked it down there. It's a great environment."

He also said he was impressed with UH's academic program. Stewart has a 3.7 grade-point average this year, and has earned an NCAA-qualifying score on the SAT.

Stewart also is the starting wing player on Douglass' basketball team. He averages 13.0 points per game. The Trojans are ranked fourth in the state.

Stewart said he honed his athletic skills competing against older players while growing up. Stewart was on the same teams as his brother, who is 2 years older.

It helped that Stewart, who was 5 feet 5 as a seventh grader, grew 9 inches by the end of the eighth grade.

"I'm trying to hit another growth spurt," he said.

Stewart has several hobbies. He often rides American Quarter Horses on his uncle's ranch in Central Oklahoma.

He also is an avid paint-ball and laser-tag competitor. Even as a tall target, Stewart is difficult to find in the woods where paint-ball competitions are held.

"I can hide a little bit," he said.

His unique first name is a result of a miscalculation by his parents. They had chosen "Destiny" as a girl's name.

"Because I was a boy, my mother named me Destin," he said.

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.