The chance of a Canadian player attending an NCAA Division 1 football program is less than 1%, but academic and football all-star Trae Tomlinson beats the odds.
A couple of years ago, the thought of a Canadian high school football player competing against the best All-American Athletes was virtually impossible. And for the very few that were fortunate to attend an American College to play football, only a handful did so on a full scholarship to attend an Elite NCAA Division 1 powerhouse school.
Each year in the United States, one point one million high school football seniors compete at 26,727 schools and hope of landing a full scholarship to play at the collegiate level. Out of those students, 2.8% will attend an NCAA Division 1 football program. And if you are a Canadian athlete, the number drops to less than 1%.
Today, Winnipeg-born Trae Tomlinson is one of the rare elite Canadian athletes offered a full scholarship to attend an NCAA Division 1 academic university with a top 20 ranked national football program. The University of Richmond Virginia Spiders were just one of several top 20 elite football programs competing to land the all-star free safety and defensive back.
Humbled by the many scholarships to play at the top US institutes, Trae reclassified as a high school senior and played out his final year of eligibility at Clear Water International Academy in Florida.
The addition of Trae to an already stacked team made them even more unstoppable. His impact was immediate and, his stellar playing was consistent from the first game to the state championship where he dominated the competition to capture the title and walked away with the MVP trophy.
Trae was on the big board of many colleges but after racking up four interceptions and returning a punt for a touchdown in a championship game, his phone never stopped ringing from Division 1 coaches.
“The recruiting process for me was long, stressful but worthwhile. It took a lot of hard work and dedication on and off the field. I could not have got here without the encouragement from family and all the coaches and trainers that have dedicated their time to my journey.” Said, Trae Tomlinson
“From a parent’s perspective, the journey for us has been eye-opening and enlightening with Trae’s recruiting process. There are so many coaching influences to thank since Trae began playing football at the age of 6 years old. These role models and support systems, for our young athletes and students, are priceless. It is our hope that Trae remains humble, continues to work towards his academic aspirations and grows at this next level of competition at the Division I level. The key to success is to focus on goals; not on obstacles! Never give up.” Said Donovan and Jen Tomlinson (Trae’s parents)
“Sky’s the limit for Trae. The hard part for him will be which NCAA Division 1 school he chooses to attend. I will be genuinely shocked if Trae is not invited to an NFL camp after completing his collegiate career. “Said Brad Black of Recruit Ready.
With all the success Trae has garnered in his football career, he remains one of the most humble and articulate young man poised to accept and embrace the challenges of playing against the best athletes in the world.
Trae’s acceptance to an elite NCAA Division one program, lets colleges in the US know there are talented Canadians who can compete and accel at the highest levels of football if they are given the chance.