We Walk #3: WR Jeff Trojan
The Bootleg: We're here with freshman walk-on wide receiver Jeff Trojan. Jeff,
you are from Huntington Beach, you are used to hot weather, "surf culture"
and all of that? Are you a surfer?
Jeff Trojan: I used to, but kind of lost time
for it going through high school and getting involved with football. I go
to the beach a lot, I just don't surf [Don't worry, Jeff, neither does "Charlie"
- obscure Apocalypse Now
TB: So how many times has someone
brought up to you that "the irrepressible Michael Dotterer" went to your high
JT: (Understandably looking confused)
TB: You're not familiar
with Mike? Dotterer is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame,
having made an impact as a All-American outfielder in baseball and as
a running back who scored a school-record eight touchdowns as a true
JT: Oh wow. Nice.
TB: Your Edison teammate Jordan Zumwalt was
close to coming to Stanford, have you heard how he is doing, is he in the
mix down in La-La Land?
JT: Yeah, he is doing very well, he
might get some playing time this year.
TB: We assume the Bruins took one
look at your last name ("Trojan") and decided not to recruit you too
JT: I did get one letter from
them, that was about it!
TB: Your family is originally from
JT: My mom's dad was in
the Air Force so she was all over the place, but my dad has always
been from Southern California.
TB: What is
it like going from a veteran senior leader on your high school team to being a
freshman all over again?
JT: It is different, definitely. You go
through a change of attitude from trying to be a leader, talking a lot, and
getting everybody up to trying to quiet down a little bit, learn the terminology
and figure out what is going on.
different is the offense here from the one you ran in high
JT: We ran a spread, with three or four wide
receivers the entire time.
you talk the Stanford coaches into running a spread here so we can open up
some playing time?
JT: (Smiling) Well, I like what we are doing,
I just have to get used to it.
TB: You are unlikely to supplant starters
Chris Owusu (currently injured with an uncertain return) and Ryan Whalen overnight. You must have an interest in special
teams - Do you feel there will be any opportunity for some of the freshmen to
see action on special teams?
JT: I don't know, I am trying to get in
there, maybe block some punts, something like that.
TB: We saw
that you blocked three kicks in high school - you were able to use some of your
JT: I think it is more being able to go
all out for three seconds and then lay out for the ball. We'll see what happens.
Hopefully, I'll get a
TB: Were any
of those game-changing deflections?
JT: Yes, actually, one was. It was a
field goal to tie the game, and I blocked it and we ran it back for a
TB: Did you
get down and block on that one?
JT: No. I was trying. I had to get up
after diving. I tried to run down, but I was about 15 yards behind
other than "speed of the game", what have been the biggest
JT: Honestly, the biggest
difference is the new terminology. We had about four formations in high
school and about 10 core passing plays, whereas here we have so many variations,
so many concepts you can run, it takes a while to figure out everything
that's going on.
TB: Taking a look at your
high school stats....They are quite impressive (58-879-7 as a senior), but can
we assume you are more of a "possession" receiver than a "home-run threat" at
the college level? You are more of a "patterns and hands" guy?
JT: Right, I am not going
to running the 80-yard post or anything like that. I like to think of myself as
the guy who is going to run crisp, clean routes in the 15-20 yard range, max,
not afraid to go across the middle and catch it, run those "out" routes.
TB: If you
were going to have a role model, is it fair to say it would be more Whalen
JT: Oh yeah. I actually see a lot of what I
feel is a strong part of my game in Ryan, so I am just trying to watch and learn
as much as I
TB: Among the defensive
backs, let's say the freshmen, who has been a tough "cover" to
JT: Of the freshmen? I would say Barry Browning is
playing really well at corner. He did really well in the summer program, he
worked very hard in conditioning. He was out there in the front all the
time, really stood out. Of the older guys - I would say Richard Sherman is
really tough to get off the ball against. Johnson (junior Johnson Bademosi) as
well, he is really good, he's doing well!
TB: Obviously there
are heightened expectations for the Cardinal secondary, as part of the
overall effort to improve Stanford's defensive performance. The defense probably
has the most opportunity to improve dramatically.
JT: They are learning the new scheme,
embracing the aggressive style of the defense and they are really enjoying
it. They are aggressive and trying to be as good as they
Jeff, tell us which quarterback throws the best
JT: (Laughing) Oh man, don't get me in
changing the subject...You seem a legit 6-4, is that
JT: I think I measured 6-3 1/2 at the
TB: Was the summer conditioning what you expected,
did you find it pretty challenging?
JT: At my high school,
we took pride in how hard we trained, but this blew it out of the
What were you able to do to improve as a receiver during the summer?
Were you working on improving yards after catch?
JT: In the summer, we work a lot on footwork,
we work with belts , practice working on getting separation from
people, work on juke moves.
TB: What do like to do when you aren't playing
JT: I enjoy
playing basketball, played a lot in high school, but not now! While I am in
school, I love listening to music, I've got some reggae, got some rap, some
rock. I am not really a "country music guy". Other than that I listen to
TB: It must be pretty inspirational to see a young guy
like Myles get a scholarship (It had been announced just minutes before to a
loud ovation that sophomore safety Myles Muagututia has been awarded a
scholarship for 2010)....
JT: Absolutely. That is what each of us is working toward.
TB: Mom and Dad wouldn't
JT: No, not at all!
Editor's Notes: We are digging Jeff's "18"
jersey number. Excellent "Cardinal Karma" for a wide receiver from Southern
California! Former Stanford star Gene Washington
wore #18, as did his immediate successor at flanker, Randy
Vataha. Washington, today a senior executive with the National Football
League, became the very first Stanford receiver to break
the 1,000-yard mark for a single season with a then unheard-of
1,117 receiving yards in 1968!
Randy "The Rabbit"
Vataha, Heisman Trophy-winner Jim Plunkett's favorite target in
1970, attended Golden West Community College (the same JC attended by
actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Vivica Fox!), which happens to
be located very close to young Trojan's prep alma mater, Edison.
Edison High is the arch enemy of Fountain Valley High, the prep
alma mater of two-time consensus All-American wide receiver Ken
Margerum (1979 & 1980) and 1980 First-Team All-Pac-10 wide receiver
. They take football pretty seriously in "The OC" - For
the final game of the Big Five playoffs in 1980, the
"Edison vs. Fountain Valley"
battle drew 28,969 to Anaheim
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