Shaka Smart’s quest for top-tier out-of-state talent continued on Thursday with an offer going out to Illinois product DJ Steward.
One of the top talents Illinois has to offer is now officially on Shaka Smart’s radar, as 2020 Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young point guard DJ Steward has notched an offer from the Texas Longhorns, he announce Thursday evening.
“Very excited and humbled to get an offer from Texas,” Steward told Burnt Orange Nation, adding that the Longhorns are now “for sure” an option.
— DJ Steward (@swipasnipa) January 11, 2019
“I know Coach Shaka Smart is a winning coach in a winning program, and he pushes his players really hard,” Steward said of what he knows about Texas to this point. “I know they’re in a very competitive conference.”
A 6’1, 150-pound prospect, Steward’s Texas offer becomes his 10th, as the Longhorns join programs such as Marquette, Creighton, Florida, DePaul, and Illinois in pursuit of Steward’s services. He’s garnering interest from Michigan State, as well, as a member of the Spartans’ staff watched Steward in action just days ago on during a 82-54 win over Chicago Crane Medical on Jan. 9; the same day Longhorns assistant coach Neill Berry was on hand to watch him.
As his offer list continues to grow and he has more options to evaluate, Steward said he’ll be looking for “a program that fits my style of play, where I have a good relationship with the coaches and players.”
Fortunately for Smart and the University of Texas, which is more than 1,600 miles away from Steward’s high school stomping grounds at Whitney Young, distance won’t play a factor in his decision.
Steward now becomes the fifth 2020 point guard prospect to add an offer from the Longhorns, and the third from outside of the Lone Star State, joining top-ranked point guard Jeremy Roach out of Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI Catholic and four-star Saint Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College product Caleb Love.
He’s currently ranked as the nation’s No. 110 player, No. 18 point guard, and as the No. 3 player in Illinois, per the 247Sports Composite.
Source: Burnt Orange Nation