This past Friday night August 28, 2009 we flew to Chesapeake, Virginia to take on Oscar Smith High School live on ESPNU. Oscar Smith is ranked No. 7 in the nation and they won the 2008 Virginia State Championship, while Venice High School is ranked something like No. 187 in the nation, so we were the serious underdogs. We took 55 football players, 20 cheerleaders and about 400 Venice fans over 1,600 miles in 3 days to play in a downpour of cold rain, and we almost won. It was an amazing weekend that we have been planning for 8 months, a "battle of the dueling quarterbacks", with Trey committing to the Gators in July of 2008 and Phillip Sims, the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the nation committing to University of Alabama this spring. Trey ended up passing for almost 300 yards and rushing for 2 touchdowns in our disappointing loss, but the score was the only disappointing part of the entire experience. The players and fans in Virginia could not have been more welcoming and accommodating and I am very excited for Trey's senior year. Trey of course is very disappointed by the loss and won't talk about it right now so I just know that he expects a lot out of himself, cannot accept defeat and he knows that game was in reach. The rest of us who watched the game know how outmatched Venice was, but Trey refuses to make excuses and usually takes all the blame on himself.
Trey, Coach Jon Cooley (VHS quarterback coach and offensive coordinator) and Coach Scot Loeffler have been working hard all spring and summer on Trey's mechanics and throwing motion. Trey was invited by Coach Meyer to attend every weekend of the Gator's spring practices, and Trey and Clay learned so much about the intensity and speed of college football. We are very grateful that Coach Meyer has welcomed us so graciously in Gainesville, and he told Trey that Gainesville is his home now.
Because of Trey leading his basketball team to the "Final 8"in the playoffs and running the4x100relayonthe track team and taking them to the State Championship, he wasn't able to attend many quarterback camps that we had planned for him like the Elite 11 that he attended after his sophomore year in Las Vegas, so he spent the majority of his spring and summer in Gainesville where he belongs. Coach Loeffler wants him to master his footwork and mechanics "from the waist down" while he is in high school, and then they will continue to tweak his throwing motion when he enrolls at University of Florida this January as an "EE". I'm thrilled at the opportunity that Trey has to work with Coach Loeffler, who is so energetic, detail edand speaks in a language that Trey understands.
Trey has gained almost 20 pounds since basketball season ended and has become a man before my very eyes this summer. He won an award given by the United States Marine Corps before the ESPN game for "Honor, Courage and Commitment" and he wore Jeremiah 33:3 on his eye-strips, "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things which thou knowest not".
This summer we attended Friday Night Lights, No. 1 for Clay to work out in front of the Gator coaching staff and with the best defensive ends and tight ends in the country, and No. 2 for Trey to spend as much time possible working on routes with awesome receivers and getting advice from Coach Meyer, Coach Loeffler and Coach Gonzales.I believe Trey had every intention of competing with other quarterbacks, but just as we approached Archer Road on I-75 about 3 hours before FNL began, Trey started getting phone calls to get to The Swamp as quickly as possible because Mack Brown and his father had arrived. Trey and Mack spent almost the entire evening together, watching the competition, taking a tour of the campus, and as I was watching Clay compete in front of Coach McCarney, Trey called my cell to say "He committed..." and I said "Who committed?" because I was thinking of Clay, and Trey shouted "Mack." We are thrilled because running backs are so important to quarterbacks and Mack is such a great guy. Mack and Trey remind me a lot of each other, both so serious about football and not big talkers but really good guys.
We have a "bye" week this week coming off our trip to Virginia and then begin our regular season against Braden River. See you all on Saturday in The Swamp vs. Charleston Southern, love those 7:00 p.m. games. Go Gators!