Making changes in any way, shape, or form is never easy regardless of the situation in one’s life. For former Bellarmine wide receiver and defensive back Michael Rector, it was just a matter of getting used to his new environment as a freshman at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. last year.
“I was excited for this new challenge in my life both on the field of play and in the classroom,” said the redshirt freshman, who sat out last year due to injury. “Coach (David) Shaw has been great and is looking forward to utilizing the talent we have on the offensive and defensive side of the ball when Pac-12 play starts.”
Joining Rector in northern California this fall will be his former teammate at Bellarmine, Calvin Chandler.
“They’re going to line Calvin up at safety to take advantage of his size and speed,” Rector said.
And with its outstanding academic reputation known worldwide, Rector knew what Stanford had in store for him. “It can be tough while playing football in the fall and having a large classroom load,” said Rector, who plans on becoming a surgeon when his football playing career is over. “But once I got used to it last year, even while redshirting, it taught me how to manage my time well.”
In just his second year at Stanford, Rector is climbing up the depth chart at receiver, and is in line for a good sum of playing time this fall. No doubt he will have a cast of fans on hand, as support systems have never been a problem in the Rector family.
“Mom and dad watched all of the games last year, just as they did my four years at Bellarmine,” he added.
With the rigors of balancing academic and regular social life, that means there is little time to hop on a plane to go see your family and friends. “Late in the season with finals on the horizon and the great possibility of another bowl game, going home is not an option,” he said. “Besides, I’ll see mom and dad at the game anyway.” Another thought that will undoubtedly cross his mind the closer he gets to his senior season is the opportunity to pursue the National Football League. “It’s a thought that has crossed my mind.”
While his college experience is just beginning, there are already many things the former Lion great cherishes about his time in Palo Alto so far. “Everybody has been nothing but great to me, and there have been many other things which are too numerous to name. Even the ‘Big Game’ week leading to the game with Cal, it’s an exciting time on campus to say the least. But when I leave Stanford, I’ll take many of the same great memories that I took when I left Bellarmine.”