Student-Athlete Spotlight: Jay Stanton

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford Athletics is continuing the Student-Athlete Spotlight series, presented by Coca-Cola, which, this week, will highlight Jay Stanton, a junior running back on the football team.
 
Stanton came to Samford from Crestview, Florida. Stanton talked a little about what brought him to Samford.
 
“I came here for my OV (official visit), met everybody, met the coaching staff and it just felt like family,” Stanton said. “I knew that, coming to this school, my religion would be a big factor, and coming from a religion background with my family, I just knew this place was the right place.”
 
Stanton had a few other options of schools, but he said the decision was easy once he came on his official visit.
 
“It was a pretty easy choice,” Stanton said. “After I came for my OV, my mom loved it, and you know when your mom loves it, you’re good.”
 
Stanton also talked a little about what he would like to do after his Samford career is over.
 
“I’m studying psychology right now,” Stanton said. “I would like to be a sports psychologist, but of course, any football player would like to go to the next level, so that’s definitely a dream too.”
 
In Samford’s most recent game at Mercer, Stanton rushed for 101 yards on 22 carries. That marked the second time in the last three games a Samford running back has gone for over 100 yards. Stanton said he feels like the team’s ground game is heading in the right direction.
 
“I feel like the run game, o-line and running backs, we are all learning what we need to do,” Stanton said. “We’re getting right what we need to do to be able to open up everything for our offense.”
 
Individually, Stanton has rushed for 172 yards in the last two games. He said he is still working to improve his game as the season progresses.
 
“Being competitive, I never want to be where I am,” Stanton said. “For those two games, I’d like to thank the o-line, they were doing their thing.”
 
Stanton also praised the work of the offensive line throughout the season.
 
“I’ve just really seen them pushing on the line of scrimmage,” Stanton said. “They’re moving, opening holes, opening gaps, just giving me light to break through.”
 
Stanton shares time at running back with senior DeMarcus Ware. He talked about the relationship the two running backs have.
 
“D-Ware, that’s my boy,” Stanton said. “He’s just as much of a competitor as I am, as any running back in our group. We just all push each other knowing that when we step on the field, we know what we need to do, and we should be able to execute.”
 
The Bulldogs have a mark of 2-3 overall and 1-2 in Southern Conference play after back-to-back close losses. This week is the team’s open week for the 2021 season. Stanton talked about the team staying focused during the open week amid a pair of setbacks.
 
“It’s really hard to stay focused after two really hard losses, but it just comes down to the character of the team,” Stanton said. “I know we’ve got really good character between any individuals on our team. I know we’re going to stay focused and come back even stronger.”
 
Samford will next play on Saturday, Oct. 16 at Wofford. The game is set for a 12:30 p.m. (CT) start from Spartanburg, S.C.
                                                                   
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