Want a daily lap through Georgia football recruiting? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. We’ll cover the news and which way a 4-star DT like Trevor Trout might lean plus add some perspective to help fans figure out what it all means.
Trevor Trout had Georgia in his Top 9. He trimmed that list down this week, but kept the Bulldogs in his Top 6.
Georgia is in the great game now for Trout. The Top 6 distinction is clear official visit territory.
The 4-star DT from Missouri would fill a definite need for UGA in the 2018 class.
He’s rated as the nation’s No. 16 DT for 2018 by the 247SportsComposite. The Chaminade High (St. Louis, Mo.) standout also ranks as the nation’s No. 186 overall prospect.
That’s a spot where Trout and North Carlina standout Rick Sandidge have often been listed as big targets for that position, but the Bulldogs have yet to secure a 2018 commitment for the interior of their front. Georgia also did not wind up with a defensive tackle signee in its highly-rated 2017 signing class.
Alabama, Georgia, Miami, Missouri, Southern California and UCLA make up his Top 6.
The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder told DawgNation this summer a few important points that have kept Georgia defensive line coach Tray Scott firmly in the race here.
“They were recruiting me very hard before they even offered,” Trout said. “So you know their offer process there is a little different than everyone else here. They were not just throwing out verbal offers out to every kid in the country. That stood out to me.”
What else stands out there with his decision? Let’s hit the hole fast.
- Georgia has been applying consistent recruiting attention.
- The Bulldogs have been a strong official visit candidate for some time.
- There’s just something about UGA that makes him think about a life in the red and black.
- He did not grow up a big fan of any certain team.
- UCLA and USC stand out to him right now because of how they mesh with his future college major.
- One of his high school coaches is a big fan of Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
- He’s looking for both good football and a good degree.
“The interest that Georgia shows me is real,” Trout said. “It is just not recruiting spiel.”
Trevor Trout is not your everyday recruiting interview
Trout isn’t the average 4-star defensive lineman. That goes for what’s between his ears as well as what’s on his highlight tape. To him, the average recruiting interview feels like the 12th time he’s seen his favorite show on Netflix.
“It is usually the same exact thing,” Trout said. “Everyone wants to write the same exact thing. The same exact stuff.”
This won’t be that stuff. Not for a young man with a view shaped by the civil unrest in his community following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer on August 9, 2014.
Riots, both peaceful and violent, ensued as that case made it way to the courts. We won’t spend paragraphs on those tragic events that are part of the fabric of what’s going on with race in America today.
This is a recruiting blog about the player on the sidelines watching all that unfold. That’s his youth.
“I grew up in Ferguson, man,” Trout said. “That’s where I live.”
What it’s like for Trevor Trout in Ferguson
Has it affected him? How could it not? He can take a bicycle to the epicenter of where the Ferguson riots took place. It is a 90-second drive by car.
“So many people showed up there on TV that don’t even live here,” he said.
Trout can tell a story about where he was the night Brown got shot. He brought up that folks in his community knew about a body that was just sitting there on the ground. For hours.
It showed up on Instagram feeds. That happens so much that Trout said most people he knew “didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal.”
“It has affected me,” Trout said. “The way I do things. The way I look at the world. Just knowing that if you want to leave here, you have to work twice as hard.”
He discusses life-shaping events that never come up in recruiting interviews. But they cannot be ignored when writing about Trout.
“We’re one of the most dangerous cities if not the most dangerous city in the entire country,” Trout said. “We’re small and we’re not very big and the way we structure things here and how we live has affected us for the last half-century.”
Does he look at his scholarship offer as a lifeline? A way out? Do they empower his future?
“I feel like it is just everything,” Trout said. “It is all of those in one. Because honestly, I should not be here right here. I could say more and it would sound like a cliche’ but this shouldn’t be me here in this situation as a college prospect. It should be somebody else.”
“But God put me in Ferguson. But he also gave me this thing with football and I’m going to do what I can with it and take it as far as I can. I understand I should be here, but I also should not be here. I could have done or gotten caught up in a lot of other things, but I’ve stayed the course.”
Trout can rattle off name after name athletes he knew who are the “don’t be that guy” example. Unfortunately.
“Here it is so easy,” Trout said. “There are so many guys who are like ‘Man, that guy should have gone to the NFL.’ There are so many kids who were really really good. But you hear about people and folks and friends who are just walking on the street and then get shot every day.”
“You don’t even act surprised anymore. It just happens here.”
Hanging with those who are ‘elevated’
He tries to surround himself with people and individuals that seek to “elevate” themselves. That’s his way of saying to hang around the right crowd. He’s around those who also have their eyes on maximizing their life’s potential.
“There’s also a lot of people I know who are not going to be elevated,” he said. “It happens here. That is just how life works, but there seems like there is more of it here.”
It was at that point of the interview where Trout needed to pause for a second. A light in his hallway was acting weird. He wanted to stop for a second and make sure that was indeed what was taking place. Not something else entirely.
“Everybody knows about Ferguson because of all the coverage,” Trout said. “But there are other parts of the city around here that are so much worse. So much harder to grow up in.”
Trout described how he can drive along and pass five different cities in just 12 minutes. There are no malls where he lives. When they go shopping, his family has to drive to the other side of the county. That’s a 40-minute trek.
“Then that money I spend in that mall does no go back to my community,” he said.
He does look to those six schools as so much more than depth charts and playing time. He simply has to.
“I feel I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity,” Trout said. “I feel like God gave this to me and it is the key to everything else I want to do with my life. But I can’t just want to do this and make it. I need to do this. I have to do something with this.”
Do any coaches ask him about growing up in Ferguson?
“No,” Trout said. “No coach ever brings that up.”
Where Trevor Trout is going
He has advantages that others in his community do not. For that, he is thankful.
“I have a good family,” he said. “I surround myself with great people and I go to a great high school. My situation is not the same as everyone else. I get that, but we all do come from the same place.”
“You hear the saying ‘Small town, big dreams’ a lot,” Trout said. “You hear that thing about New York, right?”
He was referring to the classic Frank Sinatra tune about New York City.
“I feel that if you make it out of here, then you can really make it anywhere,” Trout said.
Trout is not alone here. He has hope. Inspirations. He rattles off the names of those who have made it and includes the likes of Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott and Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden.
“They’ve made it,” Trout said. “Athletes here are blowing up, but it is hard making it out of here.”
He wants to major in communications. Trout could see himself as an ESPN or an NFL broadcaster one day. The dream is to go even farther than that.
“I want to be in broadcast journalism,” Trout said. “I want to be where Colin Cowherd is at. He’s who I listen to every day. Religiously.”
Basketball and football are in his wheelhouse. He said he can literally generate an hour-long conversation about anything to do with those two topics.
When asked to try to do just that, he delivers.
“Recruiting is just a meat market,” Trout said. “That’s what it is. It is about everybody showing cards. You have to make sure you ask those coaches tough questions to figure out who is being honest with you. You better ask those questions or you will get burned. Ask the tough questions and you figure out that you are the athlete and they want you and that they are there for you.”
Trout would rather play football than watch it right now. The commercials bog the coverage down. He hates those TV timeouts, too.
He said this summer he doesn’t see himself making a decision on his college choice until February and National Signing Day.
“Not until I feel anything else different,” Trout said.
He was very honest about where he was at.
“I hope to just pray on it and take visits and hopefully after awhile, I will just know,” Trout said this summer. “But if you ask me about a lot of these schools, I don’t really know how I feel about it. Honestly. You probably know as much about how I feel about all of these schools right now as I do.”
Miss a day of Intel? Well, the DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to Mecole Hardman speed before your tailgate crew can worry anymore about all the freshman offensive linemen who will have to play this fall.