Northwest Athlete Profile: Jonathan Stewart

NFL: Jonathan Stewart

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart has entertained people all over North America since 1996. But Northwestern football fans have enjoyed amazing performances from another Jon Stewart for just as long.

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is one of the most talented players ever to play in the Pacific Northwest.

The 5’10”, 235-pound back, blessed with a rare combination of power and speed, is the all-time leading rusher in Washington prep football. He ran for 7,755 yards from 2001 to 2004 with 95 touchdowns for Timberline High School.

Naturally, Stewart was a heavily recruited back entering college. All the top schools in the nation wanted him, including USC, Ohio State, Notre dame and Nebraska, but Stewart decided to stay close to home, choosing the Oregon Ducks.

During his dominant career with Oregon, he scored five touchdowns on his first 20 touches and never looked back. Monster, 150-plus rushing-yard games were the norm for Steward. In 2007, he set a Sun Bowl record in Oregon’s 56-21 victory over South Florida with 253 rushing yards.

Northwest Athlete Profile: Jonathan Stewart

Stewart entered the 2008 NFL draft as one of the top running-back prospects alongside Darren McFadden and Rashard Mendenhall. The Carolina Panthers drafted him 13 overall. No one has doubted Stewart’s ability since he joined the pro ranks but the opportunity to shine hasn’t always been there.

Stewart set a Panthers rookie record with 10 rushing touchdowns on 836 yards in his first season. In his second season, 2009, he and DeAngelo Williams became the first teammates in NFL history to rush for 1,100 yards or more in the same season.

Stewart has flashed dominant rushing ability, averaging 4.6 yards per carry for his career, but continues to share the ball with Williams and hasn’t gotten a chance to be a bellcow starter yet.

Stewart is also an aspiring music producer.

He says he does it for the pure love of music just like he plays football for the pure love of the game.

Here’s hoping Stewart keeps loving the game – because we sure love watching him play.

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