The St. Louis metro area is about as loaded as it's ever been in the 2018 class. One of the top prospects among that group is Chaminade defensive tackle Trevor Trout.
Trout said that he and his peers feel that the best way to prove that St. Louis recruits are worth the buzz is just to go out and prove it on the field.
"I think for a lot of us it’s about finishing our senior season and getting better," he said. "We have a lot of talented kids. We just have to go out and play ball."
They say that iron sharpens iron, and one of the other top prospects from St. Louis, and a fellow defensive lineman, Michael Thompson, is someone who Trout often works out with.
"We do (work out together a lot)," Trout said. "We do a lot of skill work together at Elite Football Academy in Chesterfield."
Trout feels that the level of talent in the St. Louis area often gets slept on. But he also said that a player like former Ohio State running back and John Burroughs alum Ezekiel Elliott can help change that.
"Easily (we've been overlooked in the past)." he said. "Up until about 3-4 years ago. Maybe after Zeke people realized that we have a lot of talented players. We always have, but now it’s finally being seen."
Trout is big, and strong with long arms and perfect size for a run-stuffer. But he takes the most pride in constantly improving his understanding of his position and knowing how his role impacts the defense as a whole.
Trout is a unique combination of size, athleticism, and strength along the defensive line. He's a prototypical run-stuffer, but still wants to improve on his pass rush.
"I think I can fit into any system," he said. "Whether that’s a 3-4 or playing the 0 or 1 technique or even bumping outside. In college I know I’ll be either a nose tackle or a three-technique. My biggest strength easily is being a student of the game and know how to play the run. I think I’m an elite run stopper. I could be better on my pass rush. I do well closing the pocket, I just need to rush the passer better and finishing with more sacks."
Trout, despite being a coveted target, hasn't really focused much on recruiting this spring, but says that he will take the next step toward a decision and trim down his list this summer.
"I’m still waiting to cut my list during the summer," he said. "Right now I’m worried more about school, so I’m not to the point yet of cutting down my schools."
Trout recently participated in one of his last camps as a high school prospect. Over the last 3-4 years, he's shown off his abilities and competed against many of his peers. He recollected the experience for he and several of his fellow athletes.
"This being one of my last camps ever, it’s kind of a surreal experience," he said. "The camps have been great because you can see the next generation of football. I’ve seen a lot of these guys since 8th or 9th grade, so it’s been cool to see everyone rise and come up."
And over that same period, Trout has been courted by numerous college programs, including Illinois, who jumped in early in his recruitment. The dialogue has slowed a bit recently, but Trout still has a lot of respect for Lovie Smith.
"So far I think the relationship has been good," he said. "I don’t talk to them as much as I used to, but I have no dislike for the program. They’re only getting better and coming up in my opinion. They have one of the better coaches in college football. (Lovie) knows what to do."
One other program that has been in Trout's ear a lot is in-state Mizzou. The Tigers have been pushing hard for Trout and several of the other top players from St. Louis, so he knows this is an important class for Barry Odom & company.
"More this last year than ever, Missouri is really trying to keep the guys in-state," Trout said. "I guess for them it’s kind of a make or break class."
As previously mentioned, Trout is planning to trim down his list this summer and focus on a smaller group of schools. He shared with Scout.com what sort of factors will weigh heavily upon his decision.
"It will probably be this summer when I cut my list," he said. "Really comfortability and where the program is and where it’s going. I want to see the depth of the players they sign and what the community is like."