It’s all deja vu.
First, it was a broken collarbone in preseason camp that would sideline him for an entire summer. Then a slew of injuries that knocked him out for the rest of his freshman year after only playing two games.
But, he worked back and was ready the next spring. He was back better than ever to break out onto the scene as a premier wide receiver in the NCAA.
Once again, just three practices into spring, he tore his ACL, ending his sophomore season before it even started.
That was exactly what happened to the Houston wide receiver. Stevenson is built to take adversity like this head-on. His mother taught him the grit and toughness that he’s needed to get through this type of adversity. His injuries were just another example of something he had to get through with perseverance. He was taught to hustle and to work for what he wanted. It was the lessons he was bred with growing up.
“The blows kept on coming, but I knew I had to work harder to come back better than I ever was before,” said Stevenson. “Those injuries don’t define me.I knew I couldn’t just lay down, I had to work to be better than I ever was after the injuries.”
Coming into his junior year, Stevenson would get the chance to start. However, he also got the chance to play alongside his best friend, roommate, and quarterback D’Eriq King. Ever since they both stepped onto campus in 2016, they were seemingly attached at the hip.
“We would work every day after practice together, to get better and help each other grow,” Stevenson said. “D’Eriq is a great player and there is no one else I would rather have as my quarterback.”
That duo of Stevenson and King would light the entire nation on fire in 2018. King registered 50 total touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury. Stevenson’s injuries did not stop him from breaking out in his junior campaign either. The wide receiver hauled in 75 catches for over 1000 yards and nine touchdowns in his first full, healthy season.
He made it back and stamped his name on the national map. His growth as a wide receiver was evident, even after a torn ACL. He did what he said, and came back better than ever.
How did he do that? “Relentlessness,” Stevenson said. It was his mindset and thought process the entire time he was training to get back on the field. His entire comeback focus was to improve every single aspect of his game in preparation to light the college football world on fire.
With Stevenson being known for his elite speed, it might be a bit surprising to find out just what he thinks the most important attribute is for an elite WR — blocking. While surprising, it made sense after he explained it.
“Blocking is where you breed physicality,” Stevenson said. “All the elite guys know how to be physical, so why shouldn’t I want to do the same? Physicality is something I want to be known for when you see my name.”
If one thing is clear, Stevenson is focusing on adding to his already dynamic game. He doesn’t just want to be a deep threat; he wants to be a multipurpose wide receiver that can beat any cornerback on any given day.
With all the adversity he has gone through, Stevenson’s journey is now pointing towards the NFL and his senior season. He is taking it the same way he has with everything else — relentlessness, hustle, and hard work. Because that’s what he wants to do — become an NFL star.
Everyday, Stevenson works on his route running and at the end of every practice, he runs his favorite route — a go route. You might see him, but Marquez Stevenson is flying right on by.