If Penn State is Linebacker U, our school is gaining a reputation as Wide Receiver High. So far in 2018, one of our former players (Trevon Diggs) won the College Football Championship with Alabama, while another former Patriot (Mack Hollins) defeated the NFL’s Patriots in Super Bowl LII as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Senior Elijah Trent, who recently committed to Villanova, is following in their footsteps.
As a receiver and defensive back on the varsity football team on the past two years, Trent flourished, racking up 1,203 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns (second in the county only to teammate Noelly Miller). But Trent was on the radar of Division I college coaches long before his stellar senior campaign. Through summer camps at colleges before his junior and senior seasons, his elite combination of size and speed made him stand out to coaches. The attention made one of Trent’s dreams a real possibility.
“I’ve always wanted to play a sport in college and it just so happened that football became the sport that I was best at and could get a scholarship in,” he said. “So it was something that I wanted to do.”
During the summer before his senior season, the offers started coming in. Villanova was one school that gave a scholarship offer, while Trent also strongly considered UNC-Charlotte, Towson and Buffalo. Through the process, he kept his focus out on the field. “It was never stressful. I just enjoyed playing football, having fun,” Trent said. “I never really thought about getting offers, I was just getting better at football and the better I got, the more notice I got from different coaches.”
After football season, Trent made his official visit to Villanova’s campus and he was immediately sold. “I definitely wanted to use my football talent to get a great scholarship to a great academic school,” he said. “I wasn’t concerned with how well the football team was doing. I just really liked Villanova because they are so high in academics and I know if I can get a good degree out of Villanova, I can do pretty well in life.”
Trent’s impact will be immediate once he steps on the Villanova campus. Unlike other Division 1 programs where freshman are redshirted (to preserve a year of eligibility), all freshman at Villanova are expected to play. In the classroom, he plans to enroll in the school’s business program.
Trent knows that following Hollins and Diggs to the NFL would be difficult, so for now, he is taking it one step at a time. “If the opportunity presents itself, I would love to [play in the NFL],” he said. “But my main focus is getting a good degree, using my athleticism to get me in a good school and hopefully I do well in it.”