Former Cumberland University tight end B.J. Stewart opened even more eyes with his efforts in Saturdays Raycom All-Star Classic in Montgomery, AL.
A former standout collegiate wrestler and a three-year football starter at CU, Stewart (6-5, 255) caught three passes for 41 yards and executed his trademark leap over a would-be defender for a first down.
Stewart came to CU as a wrestler, reaching the No. 1 ranking in the nation in the heavyweight division for two weeks during the 2009-10 academic year. He posted a 40-24 overall mark in two years and finished his sophomore season ranked 10th nationally.
Colin Lindsay, editor of The Great Blue North Draft Report, is familiar with Stewart's story, saying, "B.J. certainly make his presence known in Montgomery. I still consider him a sleeper for the 2013 draft, but the young man certainly looks the part. NFL scouts love former wrestlers. If he had played four years at even a Division II school, he might be up there on some mock draft lists right now.
Stewart, who graduated from Cumberland this past fall, is working out at a gym near his home in Rome, Georgia anticipating an invitation to yet another all-star game -- the Texas vs. The Nation Classic set Feb. 2 in Allen, TX.
Down in Montgomery, B.J. was starting ahead of a tight end from Clemson, said CU coach Dewayne Alexander. Weve had scouts from 24 of the 32 NFL teams either come by for a visit or watch him practice this past season.
Three scouts called me from Montgomery after watching him practice there. The Seahawks have shown the most interest and have been on him the longest, but Ive recently sent film to the Falcons and the Lions.
Were hoping to get him hooked up for some individual workouts at NFL training sites, which we hope could lead to an invitation to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
After starting two years at defensive end, Stewart led the 2012 Bulldogs with 21 receptions for 396 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 18.9 yards per catch.
He started all 11 contests and was voted First Team All-Mid-South Conference West Division.
In his two seasons on the defensive side of the ball, he compiled 70 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, seven pass breakups and one interception during his two seasons on defense.
Stewart also scored on a 51-yard fumble recovery and run in the 2011 season finale.
TOMMY BRYAN / firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilson Central High will host cross-town rival Lebanon tonight in a district 9AAA basketball twinbill. Girls action tips at 6:30 p.m. with live radio coverage at WANT FM-98.9 beginning at 6:15 p.m.
Both the Lady Wildcats and Devilettes enter tonight's game coming off sub-par performances.
On Tuesday, cold-shooting, both at the free throw line and from beyond the arc, spelled doom for LHS in a 47-41 loss to Hendersonville at Campbell Brandon Gym.
Lebanon went 0-10 on 3-point attempts and was just 5-of-13 at the line (38 percent) sliding to 11-10 overall and 6-3 in the district. Lebanon's Madison Sloan led all scorers with 22 points -- 10 in the fourth quarter -- and Abby Wright had 13.
Wilson Central fell to 9-10 overall / 5-4 in the league following Tuesday's 48-34 loss at Beech High. Beech led 25-11 at intermission and never looked back.
Wilson Central was paced by Autumn Hopkins with 11 points and Sydney Comer with 10.
Tonight's second game will feature a showdown between the 16-3 Wildcats and the 8-13 Blue Devils. Central is led by high-scoring guard Jacob Williams who is lit up Beech for 27 points, and four 3-pointers, in Tuesday night's 81-32 thumping of the Bucs.
WCHS stands 6-3 in District 9AAA while Lebanon comes in 8-13 overall / 4-5 in the district following Tuesday's 65-54 home loss to Hendersonville.
Lebanon's five-point halftime lead evaporated in the second half as league-leading HHS improved to 14-3 on the season, 7-1 in 9AAA. Jemel Officer drilled four 3-pointers to lead the Blue Devils with 12 points.
Other local games on schedule for Friday include:
Van Buren County at Watertown for basketball homecoming;
Friendship Christian at Trousdale County High, and;
The Kings Academy playing at Mt. Juliet Christian Acadermy.
LEBANON -- Cumberland's No. 7-ranked womens basketball team scored the first 14 points of the game and never looked back in a 60-39 victory over the University of Pikeville Thursday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
CU improved to 19-1 overall, 10-1 in the Mid-South Conference, as the club began a stretch of playing seven of its final 10 games of the year at home after starting conference play with 7-of-10 on the road.
Josette Campbell scored 14 points and London Elie added 10 for the winners. Six total players scored at least six points in the win, with Casie Cowan posting nine and Jessica Pace registering eight points and a team-best nine rebounds. Briannica Tye handed out six of CUs 16 assists in the game.
Whitney Bell Jackson led the Bears (5-13, 2-9) with 12 points and seven boards and Brogan Conley added 10 for the visitors.
(men) Pikeville 84, Cumberland 58
Cumberland shot an ice-cold 38 percent from the field in Thursday's nightcap -- a 84-59 loss to No. 3-ranked University of Pikeville. The Bulldogs dropped to 7-12 on the season, 3-8 in the MSC while Pikeville moved to 19-2 / 9-2.
Pikeville's Jamar Brisce had no trouble heating up as he connected on 12-of-16 from the field and finished with a game-high 28 points.
The Bulldogs were led by Brian Blackmons 14 points. Charles Stewart contributed 10 points on the night and Elijah Gillis posted a team-high six rebounds.
Cumberland plays at home again Saturday against UVA-Wise in a 2 p.m. doubleheader.