"That was just another one of those tests, one of those times when I had to keep a level head," he said.
The Stewarts would settle in Denton. Stewart played basketball and football in middle school and he'd make friends with the player who would go on to become Guyer High School's quarterback, J.W. Walsh.
Walsh is now Oklahoma State's starter and he has 642 yards passing and five touchdowns, plus a team-high 182 yards rushing in three games and two starts.
"Up until right before the football season when I moved down there, I wasn't that big on football," Stewart said. "I'd played since I was 5, but I didn't know I was really good at it until my freshman year of high school and my coach brought it to my attention and made me realize I could be really good at it and that this sport, if I took it seriously, could be my way into college."
Walsh was small, but he made plays for a team that made it to the state finals when he was a senior. There wasn't much interest in Stewart as a receiver, even as his best friend Walsh helped him with 56 receptions, 971 yards and 10 scores that season. He was going to play cornerback for the Aggies, until life took another one of those odd turns.
Walsh's father, John, was the head coach at Guyer. J.W. Walsh was committed to Oklahoma State. WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen was the Cowboys' offensive coordinator in 2010 and he watched Walsh and Guyer in person quite a bit and got to know Walsh and his father.
Over time, Holgorsen couldn't help but notice Stewart. John Walsh knew it and one day told Holgorsen he had a decision to make.
"You can either get him," Walsh said, "or you can play against him."
After a playoff game in December 2010, Holgorsen offered Stewart a scholarship. Stewart accepted on the spot.
"I didn't have one offer to play receiver in college, but deep down, Coach Walsh knew I wanted to play receiver and he did everything he could to help me," Stewart said. "Nobody is going to turn down an offer to go to college to play receiver when your best friend is possibly going to be your quarterback."
It was validation for Stewart and it reinforced the frame of mind he'd used to frame his life. He shares his story with people who he thinks are down or who ask for help in a tough time.
"I can say, 'I've been through this and that and you can get through it,' but there's no way I can tell what they're feeling because we're all different," he said. "What I say is, 'I don't know what you feel, but I know what I feel almost every day in my life and it's a pretty powerful thing for me.' I know if I can turn my life around and play football, anybody can turn their life around."