Nick Stevens’ journey to the top was not an easy one. The Murrieta, Calif. native has fought for everything he has earned and will now leave Colorado State as the program’s leader in career passing touchdowns.
Stevens passed Garrett Grayson (64) when he connected with senior wide receiver Michael Gallup for a red zone touchdown in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Boise State. The touchdown strike was Stevens’ 24th of the season and 65th of his illustrious career.
“It’s definitely a cool deal. Something I’ll remember forever,” Stevens said. “Especially being able to witness two of Garrett’s (Grayson) full years and see his success and at that time, aspire to be like him one day…It worked out that I was able to be mentored by the record holder.”
With 3,174 passing yards this season, Stevens is one of only six CSU quarterbacks to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season. Stevens’ list of accolades is quite impressive but the road to this point took a few turns along the way.
In his first season as the team’s starter in 2015, Stevens had to battle Coleman Key well into the season for the team’s starting position. He ultimately won the gig and led the team to an Arizona Bowl appearance. That would not be the end of his battle for the position, though.
In 2016 Georgia graduate transfer Faton Bauta and then-true freshman Collin Hill rolled into town. Following a miserable outing against Colorado in which Stevens was pulled after starting 6-of-20 for 31 yards, both Bauta and Hill received a chance to run the show.
Hill ultimately tore his ACL against the University of Wyoming in Week 5 and Stevens was once again named QB-one. Since this point, Stevens has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football.
Having had to fight for his starting position so many times, it is safe to say he did not always expect to be where he is today. An extremely successful student off the field and humble individual at his core, Stevens has never been the type to pay too much attention to the record books, let alone expect to leave as one of the most successful passers in program history.
Looking back at everything he has been through over the last three years, Stevens admitted that the record for career passing touchdowns is particularly special to him.
“After some of the tougher times I’ve been through, being able to persevere and face that adversity and come back and have success at all is definitely something I’m proud of,” Stevens said.
With only one home game left in his career, Stevens says that the emotion of it all has not really hit him yet, but he fully expects to feel it on Saturday.
“This season has gone by so fast, I haven’t really had time to think about it,” he said. “But I’ve had an amazing five years here. I think this is an amazing place to be and I’m super happy I’ve had the experiences I’ve had here.”
Collegian sports director Justin Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @JustinTMichael.