TOLEDO (WTOL) - Northwest Ohio is a hotbed for high school football talent. Trine University is tapping into that.
One recruiting class that started with just three local guys has transformed into a pipeline.
“News travels fast and guys become curious,” said Head Coach Troy Abbs.
Four years ago you could count the number of guys on Trine’s football team on one hand. Now it’s two dozen.
There are 24 guys with “419” roots now call Angola, Indiana home.
“Me and Lamar came in her together along with Bono and we were the only Toledo people on the team. Then Coach Hedden told us he was bringing in more people, I was happy," said Senior Marcus Winters.
“Me, Coach Hedden, and Marcus are the originals. We got here and to see everything grow from my freshman year to now is exciting," said senior Lamar Carswell.
Guys who were once rivals are now teammates. That bond is one of the reasons Trine is 5-0 so far this season.
“When they know each other and they come here and they realize hey he is a great guy even though he was my enemy for the last three years its neat to see them bond. They have that chemistry," said Assistant Coach Chris Hedden.
“I’ve known like eight of these dudes since way before high school so it’s cool to play football with friends you’ve known for over ten years," said Carswell.
Central Catholic grad Marcus Winters and St. Francis grad Lamar Carswell are a huge part of Trine’s growth and success. Carswell is about to break the school’s all-time rushing record. Winters was an All-American as a junior.
Plus Start High School grad, Brandon Winters at Quarterback, these guys are tough to beat.
“When guys come here from Northwest Ohio they are game ready. They have had great coaching and played in big games in front of big crowds."
“Just because it’s not a division one team it doesn’t mean anything. People are still looking for you if you are good enough so play football just like we play in Toledo. Come out and be good.”
When it comes to high school rivalries, they never forget their roots.
The Central Catholic St. Francis game is this Friday, so who does Marcus Winters have winning?
“Central, come on now. We are going to win again obviously. We are going to bring home the Irish Knight once again," said Winters.
Carswell needs just 69 more yards to break the rushing record. He is expected to do that as Trine puts their perfect record on the line Saturday at Olivet.