Pittman’s Different Tacts with Arrested DL Razorbacks Indicate Opposing Outcomes

Jashaud Stewart, Sam Pittman, Arkansas football
photo credit: Nick Wenger

Jashaud Stewart, a senior on the Arkansas football team, was arrested on residential burglary and first-degree criminal mischief charges Wednesday afternoon.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours on Sunday, according to a copy of Stewart’s arrest report obtained by Best of Arkansas Sports via a freedom of information request.

A defensive end from Jonesboro, Stewart has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Sam Pittman.

“We have been notified of the issue involving Jashaud Stewart,” Pittman said in a statement. “He has been suspended from the team indefinitely. Once we have reviewed more information, we will make a determination on his status with our football program moving forward.”

According to the report, Stewart, his girlfriend and some other friends were drinking alcohol Saturday night when they decided to go to a casino in Oklahoma, leaving around midnight.

While a friend drove on Interstate 49, Stewart’s girlfriend alleged that Stewart “became aggressive towards her, pinching her on the leg and squeezing her upper right arm,” according to the report. When she began to cry, the friend pulled over and told Stewart to get out.

Stewart then “demanded” his girlfriend come with him, but she refused and Stewart responded by grabbing her phone and throwing it off the highway embankment, according to the report. When she got out of the car to get her phone, Stewart pushed her to the ground — which was confirmed by the other occupants of the car.

They eventually went on to the casino while Stewart departed by himself. When his girlfriend returned to her apartment between 2:30 and 3 a.m., she found that the front windshield of her vehicle had been smashed. She also discovered that her laptop had been taken from her apartment, only to find it smashed in the parking garage of her apartment complex.

When police reviewed security footage on Wednesday, a truck matching the description and partial license plate provided by Stewart’s girlfriend was seen pulling into the parking garage and stopping at 2:14 a.m. The camera did not catch the vandalism to the victim’s car or the suspect’s face, but he was wearing a blue sweatshirt and the license plate showed the car registered to a Jerry Stewart, who shares an address with Jashaud Stewart. According to his UA bio, his father’s name is Jerry.

Security footage inside the apartment complex showed someone wearing the same blue sweatshirt at 2:42 a.m. and this time police were able to see his face and identify him as Stewart. Five minutes later, another security camera captured him holding a laptop in the parking garage and eventually throwing it against a block wall and walking off.

Police then contacted Stewart by telephone and he agreed to meet outside his apartment. When they arrived, he was wearing the same blue sweatshirt seen on security footage a few days earlier. He was arrested and transported, without incident, to Washington County Jail, where he was booked at 1:29 p.m.

According to his detainee information on the Washington County website, Stewart was released on a $5,000 bond the next day, at 2:23 p.m. Thursday.

What it Means for Arkansas Football

Even though he was listed as a senior this season, Jashaud Stewart could actually return to the Arkansas football team in 2024.

He is one of the Razorbacks’ 18 potential super seniors who could take advantage of the NCAA’s eligibility relief granted in response to the pandemic.

Three of them have entered the transfer portal, two have accepted invitations to the East-West Shrine Bowl and are likely headed to the NFL Draft, and three have announced their plans to return.

That leaves 10 who have yet to publicly announce their plans, which includes Stewart. However, Sam Pittman’s statement about him being indefinitely suspended seems to indicate he is planning to return.

When former defensive end Tre Williams was arrested in December of 2021, the UA waited until after he announced he was opting out of the Outback Bowl – thus ending his career – to decline comment about his arrest on grounds of him no longer being on the team.

If Stewart was already planning on leaving the team, either to enter the portal or move on with life after football, Pittman likely wouldn’t have released a statement.

His future with the program is now up in the air, as the UA won’t make a determination on his status until it has “reviewed more information.”

Having him in the fold would give the Razorbacks a veteran defensive end who’s made seven starts and played 541 career defensive snaps, plus another 232 snaps on special teams.

Stewart has flashed his potential at times, but struggled to stay healthy this year. He battled numerous injuries and was limited to only six games, so he probably wouldn’t be counted on as a starter in 2024.

That’s especially true with Landon Jackson choosing to return to Arkansas for his senior season because he’ll almost certainly lock up one of the two starting defensive end spots as the leader of the defense.

The Razorbacks are losing Trajan Jeffcoat, John Morgan III and Zach Williams because they’ve exhausted their eligibility, but they do return Nico Davillier, who saw his playing time increase as his sophomore season progressed.

Quincy Rhodes Jr. didn’t play much on defense as a true freshman, but burned his redshirt with extensive playing time on special teams. Arkansas is also bringing in a pair of touted four-star defensive ends in Kavion Henderson and Charleston Collins, plus targeting several transfers. They’ve already hosted Kansas State transfer Nate Matlack and JUCO transfer Kemari Copeland.

***

More coverage of Arkansas football from BoAS…

Facebook Comments