One of the players in Syracuse football’s 2015 class expected to make an impact right away was junior college tight end tranfser Trey Dunkelberger. He was an early enrollee this past January in order to start his career in Orange and get acclimated to his new life.
There is always an adjustment when transferring schools. Sometimes the adjustment can be difficult and many challenges. That was not the case for Trey, who found life at Syracuse to be a great fit, according to his father Ron Dunkelberger.
”He actually found it a little bit easier life wise,” Dunkelberger said. “Not the school part. See out there where he went (Pierce College), there’s no housing, there’s no meal plans, he had to find his own apartment, he had to find his own transportation to and from class. He had to feed himself.
"Having everything, pretty much, structured out, he loves it. He absolutely loves it.”
The academic adjustment can also cause problems for some when starting at a major university. But Trey has taken on that challenge as well.
”He had a 3.4 during his semester at Shippensburg,” Dunkelberger said. “He had a 3.3, I believe it was, out at Pierce. He has a 3.1 in the spring semester at Syracuse and his one summer course he had a 4.0. He said there were a couple of challenges, but the support is just phenomenal.”
When Trey first arrived and started practicing, he noticed a big increase in the speed of the game. That was an adjustment during his first few practices, but one to which he quickly became acclimated.
Once the speed of the game was no longer an issue, Trey turned his focus to other areas of his game.
”What he’s done is focused on the weight room and learning the playbook in the spring,” Dunkelberger said. “His weight fluctuated a lot out there in California. Number one is because it’s so hot in the spring and summer. He may be 240-pounds after the winter, but by the time football starts, he’s at 220 because it’s so hot.
”I was out there for a week and it was over 100 degrees every single day. The weight program at Syracuse is head and shoulders above anything they had at JUCO. He’s focused mainly on getting bigger and stronger. Getting his weight up. Learning his plays and his responsibilities.”
Trey, along with the rest of the Orange offensive players, was learning the playbook for Tim Lester’s new offense. Due to his love of football, he was able to quickly embed the offense into his mind so that it becomes second nature on the field. In addition, he believes Syracuse is poised to surprise on the offensive side of the ball.
”He’s been comfortable since before the spring game,” Dunkelberger said. “He’s all good on knowing what his responsibilities are on any given play. He’s pretty smart that way and especially because he loves football. So it’s an easy study for him.
”He’s very excited about it. He thinks it’s going to shock some people.”
All in all, Trey cannot say enough good things about his decision to attend Syracuse, according to his father. Trey still believes he made the right choice in committing to Syracuse, despite having several other options.
”He’s very happy with his decision,” Dunkelberger said. “He loves the program. He was rooming with A.J. (Long) for the spring semester. He moved at the beginning of the summer semester. He’s in a three man apartment now with Donnie Foster and Zack (Mahoney). Those three and Colton Moskal were good friends. They were sorry to see him go. But he and Trey still talk everyday.
”He loves it. I can’t stress enough about how much he talks about it and tells us how great it actually is. It was his choice. We really didn’t weigh in at all. We eventually want to go to Florida and live in Florida. He knew that, but he knows that’s a few years down the road too. He had talks with USF, Louisville.
Ron Dunkelberger also noted that wide receivers coach Bobby Acosta remains in constant communication with Trey despite now coaching a different position group. Acosta was instrumental in bringing Dunkelberger to Syracuse, and the two continue to have a close relationship even with Acosta's transition to receiver.