University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman said last Wednesday, national signing day, that he was looking to add at least one more defensive end to the Mocs' 2011 signing class.
Huesman should get his wish today when Pebblebrook (Ga.) High School's Darian Stewart becomes the Mocs' 21st signee after visiting UTC on Friday. Stewart said he signed his letter of intent on Saturday but wasn't able to fax it to UTC until this morning.
"I'll get it in there [today]," said Stewart, from Mableton, Ga.
Rated a 2-star prospect by Rivals.com, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Stewart played linebacker at Pebblebrook. He had 60 tackles and two sacks as a senior. Stewart said he started four games at defensive end as a junior.
The Mocs needed to sign someone after Alcoa High School defensive end Darrell Warren, who committed to UTC in December, accepted an offer from the University of Kentucky last Tuesday.
Stewart was still available because he didn't get his SAT score up to the qualifying standard until shortly before signing day. He said Wake Forest and UAB were pursuing him but they couldn't wait any longer for his SAT score to improve.
"It's all worked out for the best," Stewart said. "I liked [UTC] and I'm glad I didn't get left behind because I know I can do a lot of good things [in college]."
The Mocs had a similar situation last year when Keon Williams, an all-state running back at Red Bank, was dropped by Middle Tennessee State less than a week before signing day. UTC signed Williams and he rushed for 500 yards as a freshman.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (423) 757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.