BELTON, Texas- In addition to the superb incoming freshman class, the UMHB football team will also welcome a number of notable transfers, including Trey Witcher, a second-year freshman defensive lineman.
Witcher, ranked as Texas’ No. 30 defensive tackle in the Class of 2019 by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, comes to UMHB by way of Div. II Black Hills State.
While his role with the 2021 team remains unseen, Witcher brings a talent and work ethic to Belton that could result in him earning a starting job as early as next year.
We caught up with Witcher to discuss his experience on the USA national team, what went into the transfer to UMHB, playing in Texas’ toughest district and more in this edition of “Catching up with the Commits”.
What made you choose to transfer to UMHB?
TW: “The tradition and family aspect of the program. If you don’t have tradition or family, you don’t have a program. Coach Johnson called me a day after I entered the portal and he wasn’t even talking about football, he was just talking about how I was doing, why I was in the portal, and he was concerned about my position. I really liked that.”
So you took the Div. II offer out of high school to Black Hills State. Played in only two games up there due to Covid limiting their schedule, but how was it to make your collegiate debut and what differences did you notice from the high school to college level?
TW: “The speed of the game was completely different. And once you go to the collegiate level, all of these dudes that you’re playing with used to be ‘that dude’ in high school. So it is a bunch of all-stars coming together and playing, which makes the game really fast-paced and a lot of the players are more developed. It’s intense.”
With you being on the defensive line, I’m sure you notice it more, considering you’re at the center of every play.
TW: “Most definitely. Especially at d-line, you got your first two steps to react, and if you don’t it’s going to mess up the whole play. It’ll throw the linebackers off, and if the linebackers make the wrong decision, it’ll throw of the safeties and have a trickle effect. Everything starts with the D-Line.”
You played your high school football at Smithson Valley High School near San Antonio. It was ranked by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football as the toughest district in the Lone Star State when you were a senior. How did playing against that kind of competition prepare you for a transition to the college level?
TW: “It prepared me, humbly saying, more than some other athletes because of the competition we had in that district. This past NFL Draft, I think there was about eight players that were drafted that I played against in high school. Playing against that competition makes you grow up quickly in the game of football. I think it prepared me for the next level, and there’s still a lot of work I have to do, but I think it put me in the right direction.
One cool aspect of your prep career was the fact that you got to play for Team USA. How did you get involved with that, and what was it like being a part of USA football?
TW: “They have a series of camps where if you do good at the camp you get invited to the next one and that next one is the official tryout. I went to one in Oklahoma and I got invited to the national tryout in Dallas, and they invited me back and I ended up making the team. That was a really good experience to go through that process.
My biggest memory was probably meeting and playing with all these athletes from different parts of the country. You got a lot of different types of personalities and athletes, so it was eye-opening.”
Your faith in Christ is something that is very important to you. I was told that you spoke at a FCA Fields of Faith event while in high school. What that that experience of being able to share your testimony like?
TW: “Doing that helped me expand my faith and bring other people closer to God and just show them that whatever you go through, God has your back. You just have to keep the faith.”
How big of a role did the faith-based aspect of UMHB and the football program play in your decision to transfer to Belton?
TW: “Most definitely. Yesterday was my first day moving in, and I had a lot of people asking me about my faith, and where I stand in my faith. I’ve been invited to FCA and some people invited me to their church. There’s a lot of Christians on campus, and they show themselves and carry themselves very well.
Starting your first year at UMHB this season, do you have any goals for yourself?
TW: “Obviously everyone’s goal is to start and play on the varsity but my first-year goals since I just transferred in are to get on the special teams and see some field action. I know I’m going to be learning a lot and I know there are a lot of players since the Covid year, especially the seniors, who are staying back. So my main goal is to get on the field a little bit and learn from these upperclassmen.”
For more of our “Catching up with the Commits” articles, click here.