FORT COLLINS - There's no denying that Nick Stevens plays a crucial role for Colorado State.
The Rams starting quarterback since 2015, Stevens has led CSU to 19 wins and two bowl game appearances.
Outside of football, Nick is just like most of his college-aged peers. He goes to class, studies when he can, and enjoys hanging out with his friends.
But unlike most of his friends and the other 102 players on the Rams roster, Nick is a married man.
“It’s always like, yeah gotta go home to the wife," Nick said with a chuckle.
In May of 2016, Nick married his high school sweetheart, Haley.
“We first met in math class. My junior year, Nick’s sophomore year of high school," Haley said, describing the first moment she met her future husband. “Varsity football quarterback, I was cheer captain so classic little story there.”
A year older, Haley graduated in 2012 and headed south to study at San Diego State University. A quick hour and a half drive from their hometown of Murrieta, Haley would return every Friday to watch Nick play.
Things would become much more difficult when Nick headed east for Fort Collins the following year.
"Then we were a two hour plane ride or 18 hour drive away," Nick explained. "That was another big step going from seeing each other every couple weeks to only a few times a year. I think it made us stronger though. It worked out well.”
"It kept us on track to staying more focused on what we were doing with ourselves," Haley said in agreement.
Even with distance working against them, the pair would visit each other on holiday breaks. One of those trips came in January of 2015, when both Nick and Haley's families planned a winter ski trip to Utah. During this trip, the couple would also celebrate their four-year anniversary.
To Nick, it was the perfect time to propose to Haley.
“We were actually exchanging anniversary gifts and I was like, “Oh I have one more thing." And I had the ring in my back pocket and got down on my knee.”
“I was surprised," Haley said with a big smile. "I had no idea.”
At the time, Haley had just turned 21 and Nick was only 19.
“People here might say that or think that, like that’s interesting that we’re so young but at the same time, it’s better," Haley gushed, Nick's arm placed firmly around her shoulders.
“It’s not like we were only together for a few months. You know we’ve been together for 4 years," Nick added. "Like why wait?”
A year and a half later, the love birds were walking down the isle back in their home state of California.
“Big wedding. We had about 230 people there probably.”
Even a few of Nick's teammates made it out to the wedding- center Jake Bennett, former roommate Jr. Elroy Masters, Fred Zerblis, Jake Schlager, J.C. Robles, Pierre Copeland, Josh Lovingood, and Jakob Byes to name a few.
After the wedding, Haley joined Nick out in Fort Collins. They adopted a Bernese Mountain dog named Bentley and moved into a house off-campus, which doesn't sound like your typical college lifestyle.
“We always say we’re kind of at a completely different stage in life and that’s just because age mostly," Nick said with a laugh.
While the couple still goes out with other college-aged friends, they admit they don't party like other students at CSU.
“There’s no wing man or anything like going out and trying to pick up girls. I think she keeps me out of a lot of trouble."
Haley never fails to miss one of Nick's games. And win or lose, she's a teammate for life.
”I’m definitely glad that it worked out the way it did and I think she’s incredible support person for me and somebody that I can come home to.”
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