2018 Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville Magnet running back Trenton Charles burst onto the scene last year as a huge threat in South Louisiana anytime he touched the ball. Charles reaped the benefits of his performances by picking up offers from the likes of SMU, Arizona State, Northwestern, Memphis and others.
Arizona State, TCU, Northwestern, Cornell and Dartmouth are standing out to Charles along with SMU, who he has just begun to hear from since Sept. 1 rolled around. Graduate assistant and Baton Rouge native Chris Scott, Jr. is leading the charge over Twitter.
"Since September 1st, I've been hearing from him a lot. He's definitely a cool person and it's definitely an option for me," Charles said. "For a school that's not that big, to be making noise, that's kind of like me. I'm small, but making big noise."
The 5-9, 165-pound running back who is a 4.5 student has always gotten it done in the classroom and that's why he's looking nationally during his recruitment.
"Ever since I was younger, my parents always preached academics. Academics always came naturally to me. I was always a fast learner and I applied myself in the classroom," Charles said.
One of Charles' top schools is Arizona State because running backs coach John Simon has now offered Charles as a coach at three different schools and Charles is impressed with the total package there.
"I like the environment. I like the coaching. I like coach Simon because he's a Baton Rouge kid. I like the offense they run. It's Pac 12 and it's spread so that really fits my style," Charles said.
Northwestern and TCU are two schools that check the box for him on many levels too.
"That's one of the most important things is academics and for me, they're (Northwestern) Power Five and they run the spread," Charles said. "TCU, the environment, the spread, Power Five and academics. Plus, their uniforms are cold. If the coaches want to get to know me, I want to get to know the coaches."
He plans a visit to Houston at the end of September, which has been impressing with its play and the staff has been on Charles hard.
"Houston has really been making some noise. Since September 1st, I've gotten a stack of letters and the coach is coming after me. I've been talking to their recruiting coordinator and it's just another small school making noise."
What about the hometown Tigers? Right now, it's not a fit for him.
"I've always like LSU, but right now, they just don't run an offense that fits me. I also want to go out of state. That's all."
Charles wants to major in engineering to help build prosthetic limbs for people that have special needs or have served in the military.
"I want to work in prosthetics because I've always been working with kids who are special and missing stuff they had. People that go to the Army come out losing stuff and let's be honest, prosthetics are not where they can be. I'd like to work in that field and better people's lives that fought for us."
That willingness to help people started with his parents example while Charles was growing up.
"My parents are always about helping others even when we didn't have nothing. I know I can make a difference so I'm going to try and do that."
On the field, Charles strength is deceptive because of his size, which plays to his advantage he says.
"People think because I'm small, they don't expect me to run hard between the tackles. I see my size as an advantage. I can duck behind the line and then burst through a hole. I can do everything. I'm not a one-trick pony."
As far as a final college destination, Charles likes the out of state options because of the new experience the schools afford him.
"That's why schools like SMU and Arizona State entice me. I want to experience something different. I've grown up in Louisiana my whole life so to get out and go somewhere else for free, that's an opportunity I've got to take."
Charles camped this summer at Alabama, TCU and LSU. Scotlandville Magnet is 2-0 on the season following a 36-20 win over St. Augustine.