At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, Truelove is expected to be one of the stronger high school seniors in the state of Georgia this year. He led all prospects at the MSL Combine in Atlanta in the bench press test by ripping off 40 reps of 185 pounds.
After earning All-County honors with 46 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble last season, Truelove is expected to play both offensive and defensive tackle in 2004. However, neither position may be where he sees action at the next level.
"In college I may play either defensive tackle or offensive guard, or maybe even center although I have never played the position," Truelove said. "I would love to give it a try. I just want to go to college and play football. I am a better size to play center than tackle."
The lineman has been playing the game of football since he was very young. "I grew up in Covington, Ga., where my dad coached in rec league," he said. "I moved over to Brookwood in eighth grade and came up all the way in the Brookwood system. I started last year on the varsity. The year before, my sophomore season, I backed up Mansfield Wrotto, who started for Georgia Tech as a freshman tackle last year.
"I will play both ways this year at strong tackle, where I will play offense (the entire) time, and defensive tackle. At Brookwood the offensive players play the entire time and the defensive players rotate."
This summer Truelove is working on becoming stronger and quicker, although he is well advanced strength-wise with a 430-pound bench press. "My strengths right now are my muscle strength with my bench and squats," he said.
"I am really trying to work on my speed and cutting. I am going to Competitive Edge where I am training with Chip Smith to work on that. I am really trying to work on my footwork the most, as well as put on weight while keeping my speed."
Unlike most prospects in the southeast, his early focus on colleges has been out of the region. "I took a trip on spring break and saw Connecticut, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Maryland," he said. His first two scholarship offers came from colleges out of the region—Ball State of the MAC and Oregon State from the Pac 10.
Truelove has heard from colleges as far away as Nebraska, but so far there has not been a lot of contact with Southeastern Conference teams. "I haven't gotten much from the SEC teams," Truelove said. "I am not against them. It is not like I don't want to go to an SEC school. I have been getting a couple of letters from Ole Miss. Auburn came in and I went to their A-Day game. I really like them. Greg Knox (AU receivers coach) is my area coordinator and I really liked him. I sent him some film and a questionnaire so I am getting letters from them, but no handwritten letters, just formal stuff. I have also gotten some from Clemson."
The lineman says he is interested in majoring in business or sports management in college. He plans to do some more campus visiting before the start of his senior season at Brookwood. "I am going to wait to see who calls in May and see who has the most interest and then pick two or three senior camps to go to," he says.
This story originally appeared on autigers.com