Swinney explains what Tigers are getting in NFL legacy linebacker

Swinney explains what Tigers are getting in NFL legacy linebacker

Football

Swinney explains what Tigers are getting in NFL legacy linebacker

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Jeremiah Trotter Jr. enrolled early at Clemson in early January, joining an elite college football program after leaving an elite high school program.

The highly regarded linebacker hails from St. Joseph’s Prep, the premier catholic boys high school in Philadelphia that won its third straight state football title, its fourth in five years and sixth since 2013 with a 62-13 rout over Central York in the PIAA Class 6A final last November.

“He’s coming from a winning program,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said of Trotter Jr. “Well coached up there, and he’s coming from a school where you really have to be committed. It’s not easy to get there. It’s uniforms, it’s the whole thing. You’ve got to be really committed, and I think that shows his discipline that he has.”

After helping St. Joseph’s achieve success on an annual basis, Trotter Jr. is looking to continue his winning ways with a Clemson program that has captured six straight ACC Championships, appeared in the College Football Playoff each of the last six years, played in four of the last six national title games and won two national championships in the past five seasons.

Swinney is confident Trotter Jr., the son of former longtime NFL linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Sr., will be a great addition to Clemson’s program both on and off the field.

“The first thing is his character, who he is. This is a great young man,” Swinney said. “But from a football standpoint, he’s what you’re looking for in a linebacker.”

Trotter Sr. played 12 NFL seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1998-2009. The two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 2016.

When watching Trotter Jr. play, it’s clear that Trotter Sr.’s wealth of football knowledge and understanding of the game from years of experience has rubbed off on his son.

“He’s got a really high football IQ, especially at this stage,” Swinney said of Trotter Jr. “Again, he’s been well coached, and then obviously his father played a long time for the Eagles – an All-Pro and all that stuff. He’s been around the game. He’s seen it at the highest level.”

Trotter Jr. comes to Clemson as a touted recruit ranked among the top 115 prospects in the 2021 class regardless of position by all the major recruiting services. ESPN considers him a five-star prospect, the No. 1 player from Pennsylvania, No. 1 linebacker nationally and No. 7 overall prospect in the class.

“He’s just very instinctive,” Swinney said. “Really understands offensive football from a defensive perspective. He’s fast, he’s physical, and really nothing he can’t do.”

Trotter Jr. is the lone player that Clemson signed as a linebacker in the 2021 class, and taking him was a no-brainer for Swinney and his staff.

“We were going to take one linebacker – one true linebacker in this class – and he was a pretty easy decision for us,” Swinney said.

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