Jeremy Stephan, a 2015 graduate of Marshall, dreamed of playing college football. Through dedication and hard-work throughout his high school days, he realized his dream; as he plays football at Macalester College, located in St. Paul, MN. Jeremy is currently in his junior year pursuing a chemistry degree, with future plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon. Below is a Q&A with Jeremy on his experience as a college student-athlete and some advice for our current Hilltoppers.
The day of the interview, Jeremy rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown in a 56-21 win against Beloit College.
Q: I know you dreamed of playing college football while you were here at Marshall. Does the reality of college athletics match the preconceptions you had in high school?
A: Playing college football is a truly amazing experience. It allows me to play the sport I love with an increased level of competition and workload. It is a year-round commitment and is what I aspired to have while participating in high school athletics.
Q: What is your favorite football memory?
A: This year at Macalester we beat both Carleton and Hamline, which has never happened before in our school's history. They were both "trophy games," so it was fun to bring those to campus.
Q: I gather you had four exams last week and you take several advanced science classes. How do manage your time and find balance?
A: Three exams and a quiz, technically... It was one of the more challenging weeks I have had here at Macalester. Getting up earlier was a necessary way to extend my day and create more time to study. There are no easy ways to get around the sheer amount of time required to prepare for that many exams, but utilizing my time I have aside from classes and football to study is one way. Since it is not always that busy, I can use that time away from football and classes to hang out with friends and find balance in that way.
Q: Is it important to you to be surrounded by other athletes who are equally committed to academic pursuits?
A: This is very important to me. I have consistently gotten the majority of my books from teammates who have taken the same upper level science courses that I am about to take. My teammates have been helpful resources academically. Additionally, it is satisfying to know what brings us together as a team is our love for school and football.
Q: We have had four Hilltoppers commit to play college sports so far this fall. What advice would you offer them?
A: Take advantage of the free time you have. Schedules get set such that classes and practices carve out a significant portion of your day. Utilizing the time you have away from these commitments should be used wisely like working on homework, having a social life, and sleeping.
Q: I heard Jim Hogan, your high school coach, is going to your game this weekend. Will that be a meaningful reunion?
A: My relationship with Coach Hogan has continued into my college career, and we still stay in contact. I value his presence in my life on many levels, much more than that of football alone. He is a mentor, but more importantly he is a friend. I am extremely excited to see him again, and it means so much to me that he is coming to my game this weekend.