As a freshman last year, Greencastle quarterback Cole Stephens took the WIC and Indiana by storm, putting up impressive numbers week after week en route to lifting the Tiger Cubs to a conference title.
With the offseason in full swing, Stephens has been hard at work to put up numbers again once the season kicks off in August.
"The off-season is going great. I've been able to add 15 pounds since the end of football season of good weight," Stephens told The Putnam County Post.
And, along the way, he is starting to generate some college interest, having recently been invited to Vanderbilt's Prospect Day. In addition, he has received an invite to the Elite Retreat May 30 through June 1.
"Recruiting interest for 2027s is a relative thing with the transfer portal and how college programs are putting together their rosters. There is definitely some interest. I anticipate some verbal offers coming my way when I visit schools during spring ball and summer one day camps," said Stephens, who threw for 2,675 yards and 34 touchdowns last year.
Stephens said the invite to Vanderbilt came about after a meeting with offensive coordinator Tim Beck.
"I was able to sit down with their new offensive coordinator, Tim Beck. He said he absolutely loves my film and thinks I am going to be a great player. He told me he could definitely see me playing at Vandy. I just got to keep continuing to get bigger and stronger in the weight room. I am pretty excited about the visit," Stephens said.
The rising sophomore said he has several visits planned during spring football season.
"I'd definitely like to visit with Indiana University and meet with Coach Cignetti and Coach Sunseri. Western Kentucky has shown a lot of interest in me, and I'll definitely be down there to visit with Coach Helton and Coach Hollingshead this spring. I'll attend around 10 one day camps this summer at different universities in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee," Stephens said.
Last fall, the Tiger Cubs finished 8-3 and advanced to the second round of the sectional. Stephens set two single game passing records, was named the Putnam County Player-of-the-Year, All-WIC and All-Wabash Valley, and said when he looks back on last year, he was "blessed."
"I really look at how blessed I was, as a player, to have such good players surrounding me and how much team success we were able to have year one at Greencastle," he said.
And, he is already thinking goals for the upcoming season.
"This year, I'd like to make it deeper into the playoffs. Personally, I plan to study outside of the the air raid offense as I may not always be able to play in the same system. I think going into this season, we will be a team to look out for. I think that we could be a much bigger threat to teams than we were last year. We are returning a lot of starters in very important positions that will be crucial to our success," Stephens said.