Freshman Quarterback Nathan Stanley has the physical and mental makeup to be a fine college quarterback, but he knew quickly he wasn't ready for the rigors of this level.
"There is so much more to playing quarterback on this level than playing the position in high school," said Stanley, a 6-5, 205-pounder. "I could tell this summer I needed to develop more.
"I'm a competitor and sitting out of games is hard, but redshirting is what is best for me. I'm not ready to take over the offense yet."
Rebel Offensive Coordinator Kent Austin agrees.
"Nathan has a good arm and nothing seems to faze him, but he's got to get into the playbook and grow more in the system," Austin assessed. "He's got a good upside, but he's not ready yet. The redshirt will do him a lot of good."
Nathan's goals are fairly basic and standard fare for a player who has accepted the concept of a redshirt.
"It's all about getting better on a daily basis," he expressed. "I work out four days a week in the weight room trying to get bigger and stronger. I haven't been able to put on much weight yet, but I'm a lot stronger than I was.
"Mentally, I am learning the offensive system day by day, a little at a time. I try to absorb as much as I can in the meetings and at practice. I think I could manage the offense if something were to happen to Jevan (Snead) and Billy (Tapp). I couldn't have said that in August."
Nathan has been relegated to running the scout team offense, against the Rebs' top defense, in practice each day.
"I try to give the defense a good look every day. It's important to give them the same kind of competition and speed of the game they will face on Saturday and I do my best to accomplish that," he said. "It's fun."
The life of a redshirt is more demanding than being the first team QB, from a time standpoint, but Nathan has adjusted to that as well.
"I have to do everything Jevan and Billy do in QB meetings and at practice and then some extra. I have scout team meetings to go to and redshirts work out in the weight room more often than guys who are playing," he explained. "Sometimes time management can be an issue, but I'm getting used to it.
"It's all a part of the learning and growing process."
This week, the freshmen and players who aren't participating in games had scrimmages at the end of the regular practices.
It was a time for Stanley to strut his stuff some and he made the most of it, completing passes of all varieties.
"You can see from those extra snaps that Nathan has all the physical tools," Austin closed. "He can make all the throws, he's got zip on the ball, he's got some escapability and he's getting better with every rep. I'm excited about his future."
Nathan Stanley -
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