Fifth-year file will outline the career of a graduating athlete that has spent five years as a Gee-Gee. These seniors have all had an impact on advancing varsity athletics in their time at the University of Ottawa.
Wide receiver Ian Stewart had a very systematic rise to becoming one of the best receiving threats in the nation.
The 6’0” Burlington, Ont. native joined the Gee-Gees in the 2011 season and despite dressing in only four games the freshman made an impact, pulling in five receptions and scoring a touchdown.
The Gees had a trainwreck of a season in Stewart’s second year, as the team’s 2-6 record kicked off with five consecutive losses—the worst in recent Gee-Gees history.
No player on the roster that year had a particularly great season, and Stewart was no exception. At the year’s end, Stewart only caught eight passes and didn’t find the endzone. It was at this point where things began to turn around.
In quarterback Aaron Colbon’s final year with the team, Stewart found himself to be a greater force in the new Gee-Gees offence under head coach Jamie Barresi.
Stewart’s production spiked by nearly 30 more catches as the Gees celebrated the opening of their new stadium at Lees. The third-year had two TD receptions and averaged 62 yards per game.
After his breakout year, Stewart would become the go-to option of new starting QB, Derek Wendel. The pair would soon become one of the most deadly offensive combinations in the nation.
In 2014, Stewart pulled in 44 receptions and found the endzone four times. He also started establishing himself as a premier deep threat, highlighted by a 74-yard touchdown reception in an upset win over McMaster to clinch a playoff berth.
Stewart would save his best season in garnet and grey for his last, as he broke school records and gained national recognition at the end of his fifth-year.
The finance major would rack up significant numbers, as he pulled in 57 receptions, gained 1,091 yards and scored a striking nine touchdowns in the year.
Stewart averaged the most yards of any receiver in the nation with 136.4 per game, and with 228 yards in one game he broke the Gee-Gees record. His landmark year earned him a place on the Ontario University Athletics first-team all-star list.
To cap off his career, Stewart was named a first-team All-Canadian, the only from the Gee-Gees in 2015.
From the contributions of his early years to becoming a massive threat for the Gees, Stewart’s production and leadership will be missed in the future.
With Stewart out of the equation, Wendel will need to find another top receiver if the Gee-Gees hope to make an appearance in the playoffs once again.