By Ryan Martin
After three years of playing backup quarterback for the University of Louisville Cardinal’s football team, red-shirted junior Will Stein will finally get his chance in the spotlight in the Cards’ season opener against Murray State on Sept. 1. Not only will this be the first time Stein has begun a season as the Cardinals’ starting quarterback, it will also be only the third game in his college career that the junior quarterback will be starting in. However, Stein is still determined to take on a lead role for the team, and has grown and developed a lot more during the offseason.
“Being a big voice on the team is kind of hard for me,” Stein says, “But I have worked on becoming that leader for the guys, and I feel like, as a quarterback, this is a role that I have to take.”
Aside from having only started two games in his three years at the university, Stein is going into this season with other challenges to face as well. One such challenge is having a very young group of receivers, over half of which are freshman or sophomores and only one senior receiver, Josh Bellamy, this season. Despite that, Stein is not the least bit concerned, as he praised young players such as DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers and stated that he is “really excited” to see them play.
“A lot of people say they’re inexperienced,” says Stein, “But they’ve grown a lot during camp and will be a strong point of our offense.”
Stein is also up against what the media has to say. The Bleacher Report has predicted that Louisville will finish last at eighth place in the Big East standings this season, but Stein is keeping his mind off media rankings and instead focused on his team.
“We can’t worry about what the media says. We know we have a great team and are looking forward to the season.” Stein said.
Freshman undecided major Jared Radin states that Louisville fans can expect “good things” out of Stein due to him being on the team for three years and having a good sense of how the system is run.
Zach Cooley, a freshman education major, also praised Will Stein and has even made it out to some of the team’s practices.
“I’ve seen [Stein] at practice and I’ve seen a whole lot of improvement out of him,” Cooley said. “As long as the offensive line gives Stein the support he needs, he’ll perform well.”
Despite all he is up against, Stein doesn’t seem the least bit worried and it doesn’t sound like the fans are either.