Stephen Dennis | Butler University | WR
Twitter: @stephen84dennis | Instagram: @stephendennis
Q: Tell us about your college career and what the recruiting process was like. Why did you choose Butler University?
A: There was nothing easy or typical about my recruitment process. An injury my senior year of high school did not allow me to put up the numbers I needed to get noticed. Western Michigan University gave me an opportunity as a preferred walk on and I accepted. Just minutes later Butler University would offer me an opportunity to play. I will never forget Coach Jeff Voris telling me if anything changes you always have a home at Butler. Things changed. Two years later Coach Voris remembered me and gave me a chance to continue my dream of playing football. Butler had the perfect mixture of allowing me to play the sport I love while also getting a great education.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: I would say being named the team’s offensive MVP this year was the biggest accomplishment as well as being apart of the leadership council on my team. It is always great to get recognized for your efforts on the field but it is equally as great to be respected as a leader on your team.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at Butler University?
A: Attention to detail and discipline are the most important lessons I’ve learned from the coaching staff at Butler. They instilled in us the importance of doing all the little things right when no one is looking. They also taught us the importance of putting the team above self, that you need to do what’s best for the team to have success in the end.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
A: I majored in Marketing. If football does not work out for me I plan to go into sales and marketing for tech companies or possibly into television advertising sales.
Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: They would say that I am hard working, dedicated,and you can count on me to make the play and do the right thing.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: The one that jumps out to me the most was the reverse against IWU this past season in OT to win the game. It was our home opener and a hot September night. After battling the whole game and going into overtime, our OC calls the reverse and there was no better feeling than scoring that touchdown to get our first win for the season at home.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: My biggest challenge was transferring schools. To step in to a whole new college environment and at the same time a new football team was exciting. Like any challenge I broke it down and I took it one step at a time. I just went to work every day controlling what I could by giving my all to my classes, football, and furthering my relationships with my teammates. Persistence paid off and everything started to fall into place.
Q: If you could compare yourself to a pro athlete, who would that be and why?
A: I would compare myself to Eric Decker. I say that because of how he does the little things right. Decker was a good route runner mixed with great hands and found a way to make the play.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: I believe my hands and playmaking ability are my biggest strengths. I am also very coachable and adapt into whatever role I am given whether that be at wide receiver or on special teams. I never give up. I will work harder to achieve the goal. I want to be the best teammate and player I can be.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?
A: I love to share my love of football with kids especially kids with special needs. Each year at Butler University our team held a football camp for kids with special needs.
We did fun drills, showed them the locker room and had a team lunch. It was truly rewarding to see the kids have so much fun and feel part of the team. Our team also made a young boy named Robert Shaffer an honorary member of the Butler football team. We also raised money to help Robert and his family with medical bills. Seeing Robert on the sidelines inspired us all.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2020 National Scouting Combine and what are your goals?
A: I have been training with WIN Performance just north of my home town. There was no hesitation when deciding to train with Kerry Neal. Kerry has helped me to make tremendous strides in my times, form, as well as my strength. My goals are to use the techniques I have learned along with my own athletic ability and leave it all out there.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: My ultimate achievement in football would be win a championship at the professional level. Playing professional football is my dream but the ultimate achievement is to be the best team in the entire league. My ultimate achievement in life is to love what I do and provide for my family.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A: When I am not playing football I enjoy spending time with family and friends, cooking, and watching sports.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: My mother has been the most influential person in my life by the way she encourages me to dream big and to never let a situation or circumstance put me down. She always says God has a plan and everything will be as it should just continue to work hard and give it all you got. She is a self made woman who had to work hard to get to where she is, so it really is inspiring that if she could make her dreams come true so can I.
Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?
A: I love to compete and to learn new skills such as cooking and creating art. Since I was little I loved to compete in almost everything I do and I believe that has helped me tremendously in my football career.