I went to High School with him and I watched him break all the state rushing records.........dude is a beast heres a ESPN Insider article about him since hes gonna be the starting RB at Oregon this year in his sophmore season.


Oregon's Stewart hopes to fulfill potential in 2006

Potential energy" equals mass times the acceleration of gravity times height (MxGxH).

Or, for the college football-centric, it equals Oregon sophomore tailback Jonathan Stewart.

Mass? He tips the scales at a ripped 234 pounds, and, by the way, tosses 410 pounds on the bench press and heaves a 385-pound power clean.

Acceleration? He just clocked in at 4.34 in the 40-yard dash during pre-spring practice testing.

Height? You mean other than stratospheric expectations that follow a player ranked as the nation's No. 2 prep prospect in 2004 by ESPN.com and who earned Parade Magazine and USA Today All-American honors?

"Jonathan Stewart is all potential," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti admitted.

Potential? He touched the ball 72 times as a freshman. Nine times he scored touchdowns.

So if he gets 240 touches -- not an unrealistic number in the Ducks' high-powered, spread offense -- it figures he should produce 30 touchdowns, which would have led the nation last season.

The follow-up to this mathematical speculation is: If he's so spectacular, why didn't he get the ball more as a freshman and become the second coming of Oklahoma's sensation from 2004, Adrian Peterson?

The easy answer is Stewart suffered an ankle injury in the second game that bothered him much of the year.

But the more complete explanation is Bellotti insisted even before the season began that Terrence Whitehead was his starter, and the dean of Pac-10 coaches after 11 years in Eugene never wavered for two reasons:

1. Loyalty to his then-senior.
2. A belief that Whitehead's diverse skills and experience were more valuable than Stewart's extraordinary but raw ability.

"Terrence was the most underrated player in conference last year," Bellotti said of Whitehead, who produced more than 4,000 total yards as a three-year starter.

Stewart rushed for 2,301 yards and 32 touchdowns his senior year at Timberline High School in Lacy, Wash., which gave him an astounding accumulation of 7,755 yards and 95 scores for his career. It was considered a major recruiting coup when Bellotti lured him away from home-state schools Washington and Washington State, with the Cougars particularly getting their hearts broken.

After a year as Whitehead's understudy, Stewart said he's ready for his close-up. While he admitted that the hype and high expectations ahead make him nervous, he also embraces the spotlight as a necessary part of reaching his ultimate goal: NFL stardom.

"I expect it for the next couple of years, but not just for me," he said. "Oregon is going to be on the map nationally, so I'm not looking at it as an individual thing."

Stewart and Oregon can make a national statement Sept. 16 when Oklahoma visits Autzen Stadium. The Ducks are still smarting over their Holiday Bowl flop in December, a 17-14 defeat that included a potential game-winning -- or, at least, game-tying -- drive ending with an interception deep in Sooners territory.

For Stewart, it's not just about revenge, or that Oklahoma figures to arrive ranked in the Top 10. He looks forward to measuring himself against Peterson, who will be a leading Heisman Trophy candidate after an injury-riddled sophomore season.

"That game is a huge mark on my calendar," Stewart said. "Him being Adrian Peterson, any running back would have an extra push."

Stewart, however, won't have to do it alone, even in the running game. Much like when the Ducks featured the talented tandem of Onterrio Smith and Maurice Morris, Stewart will have a capable sidekick, fellow sophomore Jeremiah Johnson, who averaged 6.1 yards per carry a year ago and is also an outstanding receiver.

Stewart doesn't mind sharing the load. He even emphasized that Terrell Jackson, a third sophomore tailback, has skills that should earn him carries.

Whoever carries the ball will run behind a huge offensive line that returns all five starters. That group, a pleasant surprise last year, should be among the best units in the conference in 2006, and a couple of junior college recruits already practicing this spring will provide much-needed depth.

Dennis Dixon tops the depth chart at quarterback, though he and fellow junior Brady Leaf split time over the final five games of '05 after starter Kellen Clemens broke his leg. Throw in a solid group of receivers, and the Ducks' offense appears capable of matching last year's impressive numbers: 35 points and 439 yards per game.

In other words, with Stewart at the top of the heap, there's a lot of potential energy here for a team expecting to start the year in the top 25.

However, that merely assumes the potential of a body at elevation.

It remains to be seen whether Stewart and the Ducks go "boom" or "splat."