Forest Hill CI alum Brett Stein had to make one of the toughest decisions of his life.
The 19-year-old confessed, while seated on a bench overlooking his old Falcons’ stomping ground, that he’s giving up football.
He’s back in Toronto, this time for good, after wrapping up his freshman season at the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma, Wash. as one of eight quarterbacks.
He was there on a partial scholarship, which covered 33 percent of the $45,000 tuition, but a broken collarbone, incurred at the end of last summer’s run with Metro Wildcats, kept him off the field.
“I’ve been a quarterback my whole life, and I came in as a quarterback, but since I was hurt I didn’t get to participate too much,” he said, his eyes gazing out onto the Falcons’ football field. “I was probably somewhere around fourth or fifth on the depth chart if I was healthy, out of eight guys.
“The starter was 6-foot-5 and the backup was 6-foot-4 and then 6-foot-3, and 6-foot-4,” a 5-foot-8 Stein added, rattling off the heights of his competition. “It was really hard for me to see myself ever starting for the school, being they really go for tall quarterbacks, strong arm, quarterbacks.”
He models his play after former CFL and NFL pivot Doug Flutie, who was a shorter, mobile playcaller.
But Stein, not wanting to give up, took on the mantle of slot receiver.
Still, what was missing was what would come after football, especially in a competitive football state like Washington. Stein admitted that was what led him to make the decision once back in Hogtown.
“It wasn’t really an epiphany I did have at the school,” he said. “It was more coming home and realizing that maybe going back isn’t worth the money my parents were paying, which was ridiculous.
“The money wasn’t the reason. It was more of what I should think about my future, more academically.”
Puget Sound offers only liberal arts degrees, and Stein wanted to have a more focused discipline. Thus, his decision to go to Ryerson for sports media.
“Football has really been my life, and I have never not played it,” he said. “It will be an interesting experience not having football in my life, but hopefully I can replace that with sports media.”
As for returning to the mix with Metro Wildcats, Stein said enthusiastically a quarterback’s coaching position is possibly in the cards, and if not now, he hopes to help Nate Weiss in some capacity.
For now, Stein said he’s content with catching up with old friends like Trevelle Wisdom and Deshawn Stevens, before they head off to university.