May 29, 2024

WVU LB Josiah Trotter is Turning Heads Once Again in Spring Ball

The Mountaineers just might have a star in the making at linebacke

This time a year ago, the West Virginia linebacker room took a siginficant hit when true freshman Josiah Trotter suffered a lower-leg injury that would cost him the entire 2023 season.

Head coach Neal Brown, defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley, and linebackers coach Jeff Koonz all identified Trotter as a guy that would make an impact on defense as a freshman and potentially work his way into a starting role.

Coming out of St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, PA, Trotter held offers from Clemson, Marshall, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and several others.

His father, Jeremiah, was a two-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler in the NFL, spending 11 years in the league with Philadelphia, Washington, and Tampa Bay. His brother, Jeremiah Jr., just wrapped up his collegiate career at Clemson where he developed into one of the nation’s top linebackers and is expected to be one of the first linebackers selected in this year’s draft. While at Clemson, he recorded 192 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks.

Now, it’s Josiah’s turn to carry on the family tradition of terrific linebacker play.

A month into spring practice, he’s turning heads and is once again positioning himself to be a starter.

“He’s a physically imposing guy. He’s a bigger body than we’ve had, so he stands out because of his sheer size. He also had good instincts, he’s played a lot of football,” Coach Koonz said. “You go back to his high school career, he played very early in his career. He’s got a ton of reps and he played for a program that went deep into the playoffs and played for state championships every year. So for him to come in as a freshman, early enroll, he’s probably played more snaps than anybody just over the last five or six years. He has so much experience in finding the ball playing inside linebacker. The thing that he does a great job of, in my opinion to this point, is when he makes a mitake he makes it full speed, but he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. He gets it fixed.”

Although that is impressive, what stood out to me was how Koonz explained Trotter’s desire to learn and understand the scheme despite knowing he wouldn’t play a single snap last season.

“He was a guy that was engaged. He was in all meetings, he would come seek me out individually. He’d want to come meet and watch practice film. I’d give him projects to do and breakdowns of opponents just to keep him engaged and keep his mind fresh. I would say some of that helped (his progression), but I would say some of that too is just the way he’s built and how much he loves the game.”

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