Sandy Creek High School has sent yet another shipment to Georgia Tech. The school that has already delivered a two-time All-ACC offensive lineman (Andrew Gardner), a three-year starter at safety (Isaiah Johnson) and an all-world wide receiver (Calvin Johnson) to Tech has delivered defensive lineman Trent Sellers.
Sellers, a freshman, joins safety Corey Griffin, another Sandy Creek alumnus, on the roster. Tech is evidently a fairly easy sell at Sandy Creek, which is located in Tyrone in Fayette County.
“Just a good place to be, and everyone from my school who’s gone there had good stuff to say about it,” Sellers said. “It’s been good. Everybody that’s went there has been good for us. Nothing negative.”
Sellers knows Isaiah Johnson, who signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent, and Griffin, who was teammates with Sellers at Sandy Creek.
“He just said it was a real good place to be,” Sellers said. “He told me to come in and work hard and do something special.”
In part because of Griffin, Sellers comes to Tech with more familiarity with his new surroundings than most. Also, his parents know his new position coach, defensive line coach Mike Pelton, because Sellers’ mother Lisa was Pelton’s academic adviser at Auburn. Sellers’ father Lee also had a connection, as the two were teammates at Auburn. Lee Sellers, who keeps close ties with Auburn, also knew Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof from Roof's time as the Tigers' defensive coordinator.
“My dad told me he was just happy wherever I wanted to go to, but he was pretty excited when I decided to go play for Coach Roof and Coach Pelton,” Sellers said.
Having a football-playing father has helped in a more direct way, also. Lee Sellers coached his son in youth football a couple seasons to ensure that he was taught the game properly, and later helped him with strength training and agility.
“He’s been around (football) for so long, he’s always had little tidbits,” Sellers said.
Sellers said he looks forward to playing for Pelton. Sellers has seen the voluble coach in action and knows what he’s in for.
“Real nice guy, real personal. The thing I liked about him was when I went to watch practices, he’s the same guy when you watch practice that he is when he recruits you,” Sellers said. “He doesn’t change. … He’ll scream and yell because that’s what coaches have to do, but he’s still the same guy on and off the field.”
Said Lee Sellers, "Not only will Mike groom him into a good football player, he'll also groom him into being a good citizen and a good man."
Playing defensive end, Sellers will take his place behind starters KeShun Freeman and Rod Rook-Chungong and backups Antonio Simmons and Kenderius Whitehead. Tyler Merriweather and Tyler Stargel are also in the mix, as is first-year freshman Anree Saint-Amour.
“My first year, I just want to go in and work extremely hard on the field and in classroom, and hopefully get an opportunity to play,” Sellers said.
1. Listed at 230 pounds on the roster on Tech's website, the 6-foot-4 Sellers said he was 235 at the end of his final high-school season and had reached 245 prior to his arrival at Tech. He attributed the gains to lifting workouts, particularly the regimen provided by the Tech strength and conditioning staff. He was at 200 pounds as a junior.
Sellers didn’t test himself by maxing out, but he said the workouts were “getting easier and easier, so I just assume I’m getting stronger.”
Sellers' father grew from 6-3 and 217 as a college freshman to 6-5 and 255 by the time he completed his career.
"Coach Pelton said he's going to play him at defensive end unless nature just takes its course and he outgrows or out-eats the defensive end position and he has to go (to defensive or nose tackle)," Lee Sellers said. "We have to see how that deal works out."
2. Sellers will wear No. 98, worn previously by walk-on A-back Roberto Hinojosa. Sellers didn’t request it, but didn’t particularly care. “I’m glad I got a jersey,” he said.
3. Asked what one item he’d make sure to bring with him to campus, Sellers said his bible. “I try to read it as much as I can,” he said. “It helps me stay grounded.”
4. On signing day, Pelton said that what he quickly noticed about Sellers was his relentlessness and intensity.
5. Sellers was an under-the-radar prospect, but Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker had high hopes for him. "In about two years, everybody will be saying ‘Man, that was a great get by Georgia Tech,'" Walker told colleague Michael Carvell. "I honestly feel that way.”
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