Some players coming out of high school who are recruited by Division I colleges have to start at a junior college before they can continue on to a university.
Quinn Trimble, a 6-foot-3-inch, 180-pound freshman wide receiver for TJC, was highly recruited coming out of Lufkin High School. He became a breakout player in 2008 as a junior in high school by catching 55 passes for 1,146 yards and 12 touchdowns.
His athletic style of play and incredible leaping ability caught the eye of such Division 1 schools like Oklahoma State, Missouri, TCU and Southern Mississippi.
“Quinn was an outstanding player for Lufkin and I felt like he was the closest thing to Dez Bryant, ” TJC Head Coach Danny Palmer said. “We are very glad to have him here.”
So far, Trimble has been a great addition to the Apache offense according to his offensive coordinator Ryan Mahon.
“Trimble is a big part of our offense and he is a great playmaker,” Mahon said. “His explosiveness and playmaking ability is a really big asset to our football team.”
Another freshman that was recruited as a Division I prospect who has brought his talents to the Apaches offense is running back Ky’Ordric Black.
Black stayed local after graduating from John Tyler High School even though he was recruited by Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, University of Louisiana-Monroe and University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
In addition to that, as a senior in high school he led John Tyler to the Class 5A Division II State Quarterfinals where they lost to Klein. With that behind him, Black’s focus is now college and TJC football.
“Right now I’m getting in the hang of college classes,” Black said. “As far as the team goes, TJC’s offense isn’t much different than the offense we had at John Tyler so that makes it very suitable for me.”
Coach Palmer is already seeing a great player in Black and a player that has great potential in helping TJC win in the future.
“Black has really been the surprise of the year for us,” Palmer said. “He is quick and shifty and we feel like he has added a spark to this football team and can help us make the playoffs.”
Defensively, the Apaches were proud to have been able to welcome a talented freshman linebacker to their roster.
Rikko Harris, a 6’2″, 215-pound linebacker from Waco, was heavily recruited before he attended TJC by school like University of Houston, Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Colorado, TCU and Missouri.
So far, Harris is excited about being able to play football for TJC and being coached by Coach Palmer.
“I like Coach Palmer’s coaching style, and I like his discipline,” Harris said. “I have learned different blitz schemes in the short time I have been a part of TJC’s defense and that has helped a lot because in high school we didn’t run blitzes.”
Harris and Palmer have similar ties from before Harris even attended TJC.
Palmer coached Harris’ dad while he coached at Waco Richfield in the 1970’s before Harris’ dad went on to become an All-American linebacker at the University of Houston in the 1980’s.
“I think Rico is faster than his dad ever was,” Palmer said. “Rico is a very good athlete, very relentless on defense and I call him the cowbell of our defense because he is called on a lot.”
Even though test grades forced some of these athletes to attend a junior college when they had the chance to play for a Division I college, they are still looking to the future to take the next step that they have wanted to take since they left high school.
“My SAT scores weren’t up to par but I also came to TJC because a lot of my friends were here,” Trimble said. “It’s a great school, and I still hope to go to Missouri to play football after I finish at TJC.”
Another athlete wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and achieve big.
“I wanted to go to the University of Houston so I could carry on what my father did but now I got my eyes set on TCU,” Harris said. “I still want to accomplish things like my father did but in the meantime while I’m at TJC, I want to win a championship, get a good education and take that wherever I go in the future.”