KINGMAN - After Kingman High senior Trey Gilleo broke his ankle on Sept. 20 in Phoenix against Maryvale, most of the colleges interested in the now 6-foot-7 inch, 250-pound offensive lineman gave up on him. But not all of them did, and the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks have made plans for KHS' Goliath.
"He's a heck of an athlete," said Eric Reid, the running game coordinator and offensive line coach for the Lumberjacks. "He has the frame to put on 30 to 40 pounds, and we like his potential."
Gilleo was found working on gaining weight Tuesday in the weight room at KHS. Since the end of the Bulldogs' basketball season, when Gilleo started at center, he has put on 30 pounds. "They want me at 275 when I arrive in the fall," Gilleo said. "I was skinny, but I'm beefing up."
Gilleo said that his regimen is to work out on Mondays and Thursdays until the school year is over. Once summer comes, he'll be working out mornings and nights. The focus is on weight training as well as footwork.
"I've been doing ladders," he said. "I don't want to lose my agility while gaining weight."
Reid said that he expects Gilleo to redshirt his freshman year.
"He needs to bulk up and learn the offense," Reid said. "He's a big lump of clay that needs to be molded."
Redshirting his first year of college appeals to Gilleo as well. "It'll let me work my way into the program," he said. "I could have played, but I probably would have sat on the bench. This way I get the extra year."
For his freshman year, Gilleo said that he's received a partial scholarship worth $5,000. As he progresses in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Lumberjacks' program, Gilleo said that the scholarship money he receives would increase.
The move from Class 5A-II high school football to NAU has not been lost on Gilleo. "It's another step up facing tougher competition," he said. "I won't be the biggest guy out there."
Even after other schools dropped out of the race to land him, Gilleo said that NAU was always a frontrunner. "It's only two hours away, and if I need to I can drive home for the weekends," said Gilleo.
Gilleo knows what he'll be getting in NAU, and it's former Bulldogs coach Jay Weakland who knows what NAU is getting in Gilleo. "They get a great kid. He's a brain, a typical offensive lineman," Weakland said. "He's smart, so academics won't be a problem, and his work ethic won't be a problem."
After Gilleo completes his redshirt freshman season, how quickly he cracks the starting the lineup for the Lumberjacks appears to be up to him.
"His best football days are ahead of him," Reid said. "When he produces for us will depend on how soon he can get stronger and learn the offense."