Stanley saw his promising football career at Clemson come to an abrupt end during the summer of 2009 as the linebacker prepared for the upcoming season. Stanley was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy in 2004 and his medications were no longer helping and his seizures related to his epilepsy were on the rise. He changed medications and underwent a battery of tests, but Stanley knew once the results came back he had to make a tough decision

His body was rejecting the medication and the only way to tell whether or not the medication is helping is when it doesn’t work. That was the reality. So Stanley sat down with his father, grandfather and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to have a difficult conversation about his future. He chose to step away from the game he loved.

Getting his degree and being healthy were what mattered the most, but it was still an agonizing decision for Stanley. He only told his closest friends, but eventually decided to stay with his teammates and be on the sideline as a student-coach his final season.