Taylor Tremel Changes College Plans for Tigers


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Taylor Tremel had the first part of his college career planned out.
Tremel, a senior at Lake Mary (Fla.) High School, was all ready to head to
Seminole Community College for two years. It made sense. After all, his
parents teach at the local college. That meant two years of free education -
probably following in his dad's footsteps focusing on history - before
deciding on a state school.

"I had no plans to play college football," said Tremel, a 6-foot-4,
276-pound tackle for the Rams. "It just never connected. It never clicked."
Lake Mary head football coach Greg Stanton can only chuckle when he hears
the remarks of his stud lineman.

"I think he's selling himself short a little bit - and that's probably one
of his weaknesses, that he maybe lacks a little self-confidence," Stanton
said. "He didn't realize the potential he truly had."


Maybe it's a lack of self confidence or maybe just being humble. In either
case, Tremel is a big and talented athlete with star potential.

"God gave him a gift and it was sheer mass," Stanton said. "And he has the
desire. He has the attitude to work hard. He has a tremendous work ethic -
one of the hardest working kids I've coached in 17 years. Whether it was his
sophomore, junior or senior year - and you just can't get him out of the
weight room."
Of course Tremel know he still has a lot of growing to do in the weight room
and he expects to have to work a lot harder, especially on his upper body.
While most weight room junkies his age are probably more focused on their
upper body, Tremel has been a lower-body addict since his iron-pumping days.

"I would rather focus on squats and power cleans but I know I'll especially
need to get my bench (press) to the upper college level," said Tremel,
adding he squats 475 pounds and bench presses around 320. "That's turned out
fine for me in high school but in college people will be twice as strong.

"I'm going into it like being a freshman in high school all over again and
dealing with giants."
Stanton likes the fact that Tremel's strengths come from down low. In fact,
he'd rather see it no other way for his offensive lineman.

"I care much more about how much he can squat than bench press," Stanton
said. "There's not going to be too many times during the course of a game
that you're going to be laying on your back and pushing somebody off of you
- unless you got your ass driven into the ground."
Tremel and another Division I signee - Keith Rivers - are the only two on
the team who can power clean more than 315 pounds. Rivers is a 6-foot-3,
215-pound linebacker who signed with the University of Southern
California and was ranked as the top linebacker in the nation, according to
some services.

Stanton said other attributes that will come in handy for Tremel are his
long arms and his drive - on and off the field.

"He's not afraid to work hard - or hit you," Stanton said.

The biggest obstacle Tremel may have to overcome is getting use to a more
complex system. At Lake Mary, Stanton said the offense was fairly simple.

"If he has one weakness it's that he might struggle scheme wise," Stanton
said. "We talked about that, that he would have to spend extra time in the
film room and studying playbooks."
But, Stanton quickly points out, it's not something that Tremel won't be
able to do after a little time under his belt.

"I think more than likely he'll need a redshirt year just to catch up
mentally and speed wise with the Division I football," Stanton said. "That
will give him a year or year-and-a-half more in the weightroom too. I'd then
be disappointed if he didn't contribute after that."
Likewise Tremel doesn't head to Death Valley without the knowledge that hard
work in high school was just the beginning. While his hopes are high, he's
keeping his expectations modest.

"I really don't expect to start - that's not realistic - because of all the
great guys they already have there for one," Tremel said. "I want to go up
there, start working out and get the feel for college. I want to get bigger,
stronger and faster. I'm already have loads of fun with the workouts they
sent." As Tremel prepared for Seminole Community College he just continued doing
what he was doing on the field and in the classroom. His goal was basically
to go to school, get his degree in history and come back to his hometown to
hopefully teach and coach. His dad, a former Florida Gator, did the same
thing.

Then Clemson changed all those plans.

It was during the end of his junior season that the recruiters phone calls
started coming. It took Tremel by surprise to say the least.

"I honestly hadn't even though about playing college football," he said.
"Clemson then talked to me. I went up there and they were the first to
offer. I ended up having a bunch of schools talking to me but Clemson was
the first to offer and it was my favorite of all the schools I was talking
to.

"I didn't want to lose the scholarship by waiting - they had unoffered a
couple of other offensive linemen - and coach thought it best to commit
early and not wait and that's what I did."
Now Tremel goes from planning on living at home in Seminole country to
getting ready for a several hundred-mile trek to Tiger world. The change
will be a drastic one, but not something that has him overly concerned. In
fact, he's ready to head up to Death Valley a little early to get a head
start on some classes and get assimilated to the new surroundings.

"Signing sure made things go by a lot faster than expected," Tremel said. "I
think (in the summer) I'll take golf or something and work out with the
team. Over the summer last year it was still pretty far off - but now it's
definite and there sure is an exciting feeling."
Tremel got a sweet taste of Clemson, visiting during the Tigers' overtime
victory against Virginia then watching his soon-to-be alma mater down
sixth-ranked Tennessee 27-14 in the 36th annual Peach Bowl at the Georgia
Done.

In that game, Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst passed for 246 yards.
Tremel said it would be exciting to know that hard work on the offensive
line would give someone with Whitehurst's abilities more opportunities to
make big plays.

"When you have a team with a good quarterback it makes me feel like I have
someone back there that if I protect he can make the play," Tremel said. "If
I get my job done, I don't have to worry about him getting his job done -
because he probably will. And that assurance is great."
Bio Named to All-Dixie team by SuperPrep…named to Super 75 team in Florida and ranked as the second best center in the state by Florida Times Union…all-country selection…captain of the Lake Mary team his senior year…led team to state playoffs each of his last three years…has considerable strength, he can already squat lift 480 pounds… played for Greg Stanton at Lake Mary High School…chose Clemson over South Carolina and Southern Miss….born Michael Taylor Tremel on August 18, 1985.

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