Getting to know your Rams: Trevor Willard

Trevor Willard is hoping to make an impact for the Rams as a freshman.

Getting to know your Rams: Trevor Willard
September 22
13:57 2021

Trevor Willard (6’5” 230)

– Defensive End (Redshirt freshman)

– Reagan graduate (2019)

– Major: Business

Trevor Willard was one of the most dominant defensive linemen Forsyth County has seen in many years. Willard was All-Conference in the Central Piedmont 4-A for three years and is the all-time sack leader for the Raiders with 35. After being one of the Division I transfers for the Rams, Willard is seeking to make a similar impact on the collegiate level.

Willard originally committed to Army, but chose to attend Appalachian State University as a walk-on. Because of the pandemic, it allowed players to have an additional year of eligibility, which left no scholarship money available for Willard. After contemplating his next move during his freshman season, Willard chose Winston-Salem State University (WSSU).

“The recruiting process was definitely tricky, but I had a great time during it,” said Willard. “What initially pulled me to Army was the great education and career I could get there and to play big time football. I chose Winston-Salem State because I wanted an opportunity to play and leave a legacy here.”

Willard has been playing football for most of his life. He followed in his father’s footsteps of playing and was drawn to the game from his father telling him stories about playing football.  

Even though he enjoyed a stellar high school career, Willard feels his Raider teams fell short of their ultimate goal as a team. “Of course, winning a state championship with my high school team was the goal, but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” he said. “I wanted to break records there and I still have one holding record.  

“I definitely wanted to get views from colleges to continue my career and I did that. I just wanted to be remembered as a great football player.”

Being humble is in Willard’s nature. Even though he was one of the best defensive linemen from the area in the last decade, he does not often boast about his accomplishments.

“I think humbly about it,” he said about his high school career. “Whenever you put in the work, you get the outcome you want.”

Now at WSSU, Willard hit the ground running in an effort to get acclimated to the system. He has absorbed a lot of information from the veteran defensive linemen and is thankful for their words of wisdom.

“(Karron) Jeter is a great mentor and a great guy to talk to,” Willard said about his fellow defensive line teammate. “I’ve learned a lot and definitely during the game last week against Catawba, he opened up my eyes between the difference of high school and college, because that was my first college game that I played in.

“He gave me a lot of steps and he helps me in practice to visualize the things that I am not used to seeing on the college level. He is a great guy and the whole squad are great guys and we all get along. I am looking forward to the season with them.”

Willard was geared up to play in his first game on the college level. He knew that there would be a step-up in competition level from high school and because he put in the work prior to the game, he was not overwhelmed by the moment.

“It was definitely thrilling, after a year of waiting I got to play,” he said. “It was what I expected. As soon as your head is in the game, you kind of forget about the extra activities around you and you just focus on what’s on the field.”

Willard has high expectations for himself and the Rams’ team as a whole this season. He wants to break a WSSU record this year and feels his team can make a push in the Division II playoffs if everything falls into place for the Rams.

“For myself, I want to break another record; that has always been on my agenda,” he said about his personal goals. “I want to also go to Division II championship for our team. I project us to come together and go win, because we have a lot of talent on this team.”

One of the players Willard likes to emulate on the field is future hall-of-famer J.J. Watt. Similar to Watt, Willard feels his high motor and his strong-willed mentality are his best attributes on the field.

Willard says he knows there is pressure to perform on the collegiate level based upon what he accomplished during his prep career. He says this is a “new chapter” in the book and he’s ready to live up to those expectations. He feels that dealing with that pressure is part of the job of being an athlete.

Off the field, Willard is an outdoorsman. He enjoys scuba diving, fishing, or pretty much anything outdoorsy. “I like the fresh air, peace of mind, and not being cooped up in a box,” he said about being outdoors. “I like to roam free and I really love the ocean.”

Once his career is over, Willard says he would love to leave the legacy of being one of the best defensive linemen that have ever played at WSSU. He also hopes to be a great teammate and above all else, he wants his team to win a lot of games.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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