Trout took slow path to become a Buckeye
The fact that Lancaster High School senior Kyle Trout gradually has built up strength in the weight room to complement a 6-foot-6 frame might be the biggest reason for the excitement surrounding him the last couple years.
The only football player from central Ohio to have verbally committed to Ohio State from the 2014 recruiting class so far has found some unique ways to help his skills on the field become more polished, too.
One of those has to do with what he hasn't done -- quit basketball or track -- the last two years.
A right guard and defensive tackle for the Golden Gales, Trout believes the skills and mental toughness he has developed competing in other sports have helped him in football as well.
"When I first was being recruited by Wisconsin, Ohio State and West Virginia, I asked them if they wanted me to specialize in football, and they said that if I quit basketball or track that (they) wouldn't recruit (me)," Trout said. "Being able to stay low in basketball helps you to be able to stay low when you're blocking.
"Just being big and athletic, I knew I could be a good center in basketball and if I hadn't done track, I wouldn't have gotten to the state meet. High school is the time to have fun."
College recruiters got plenty of enjoyment watching Trout, who has blossomed into a four-star recruit, according to Scout.com.
He received his first offer between his sophomore and junior seasons from the University of Toledo and was recruited by nearly every Mid-American Conference school as well as several BCS programs.
After visiting almost every school that offered him, Trout eventually settled on the Buckeyes.
One feature of Trout's development that impressed college scouts and that Trout believes has helped him develop into a better player and keep his quickness is the slow pace at which he has gained weight.
Trout weighed 260 pounds when he got his first scholarship offer, about 280 last fall and said he was up to 305 pounds during the preseason.
Lancaster uses the wing-T offense and likely will run most plays directly behind Trout.
"He's 6-6 and about 290, and he looks skinny," coach Rob Carpenter said.
"When college coaches see that, they have aspirations that he can obviously be bigger. He could get up to as much as 330 or 340, and he runs extremely well. For him to lead our sweeps to the right and left, it shows a lot."
At the Division I state track and field meet last June, Trout finished seventh in the shot put (55 feet, 9 inches) and eighth in the discus (174-6).
After playing basketball during his first three prep seasons, he hasn't decided whether he'll go out this winter because he plans to graduate in December. Even so, he's considering playing a few games before enrolling at Ohio State in January.
Before then, he'll have one last chance to help Lancaster get back on track after the Golden Gales finished 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division last season.
"We run the wing-T, so that's why I play guard," said Trout, who might end up at offensive tackle in college. "We'll definitely be able to thrive this year. It's definitely fun playing in a tough league."