When Josh Stewart declared for the NFL draft last week, he didn’t break the news with a press conference, or a call to a local reporter or even by having his agent announce it for him.
Stewart posted a picture on his Instagram account, revealing his decision to forgo his senior year at OSU and turn pro.
“That’s the only social media I have,” Stewart explained. “I have a lot of people that follow me on that. I knew eventually it would get out and it would be publicized.”
Stewart fought through injuries his junior year at OSU and saw his numbers almost cut in half. Still, he sees himself in the T.Y. Hilton and Danny Amendola-mold of NFL wide receivers who make plays out of the slot. He believes the state of the NFL fits his game.
“That’s what my life has turned into now, trying to be an NFL player,” Stewart said. “I’m excited for the process. I have confidence and faith in myself and believing God gave me ability to perform on that level. With that, I think I can do what those guys do on Sundays.”
With classes starting at OSU this week, Stewart said he wanted a decision made before that date. It wasn’t a decision he rushed, though. Going pro had been on Stewart’s mind since the Bedlam loss.
“Once it was on my mind, it was either I’m going to do it, if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it 100 percent,” Stewart said. “If I’m not, just come back. I was leaning too much and the comparison wasn’t even.
“I just wanted the NFL more.”
Stewart said he was given a round 4-7 grade from scouts, but he expects his stock to go up after workouts and interviews.
“Now that they know that I’m all the way in it, they get a better evaluation on me and I can get a better view of where I go, but then again, you never know with the draft,” Stewart said. “You never know where you can fall.”
Before announcing his decision to the masses, Stewart called a few coaches at OSU he thought should hear it directly from him. He said he told strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass, wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn and coach Mike Gundy so they wouldn’t be surprised by the news.
Stewart described the coaches as supportive and understanding and he thanked them for their help the past three years.
“There was a little bit in them that wanted me to stay, but at the same time, they understood that this is my decision and life,” Stewart said. “There is only so much you can do, and they understood that.”