Nov. 25, 2015
Senior captain Trevon Coley will represent his team in one final coin toss this week, when the Owls travel to Old Dominion for a November 28th contest. Coley will take the field for the 48th consecutive time as a starter on a defensive line that he literally grew into, and for a line that was built around him in 2015.
As a sophomore at Miramar High School, Trevon was encouraged by a member of his church and high school offensive line coach, Domond Carter to pick up football. In addition, his best friend Kelvon Davis was encouraged and the duo embraced the challenge. Coley saw time on the offensive line, at linebacker, defensive end and finally defensive tackle.
His senior season drew attention and recruiting trips to WVU, Florida, Florida State, UCF and FIU. But, his commitment to a college choice did not come easy and the opportunities quickly disappeared due to his indecision. As signing day approached and no decision made, his opportunities dwindled. He resigned to attending North Carolina Central with his friend. The night before signing day, Coley received his first call from FAU, a school he knew very little about despite growing up just 38 miles to its south. He had no visits left per NCAA rules but, more importantly, he had no time to weigh the decision as his teammates would participate in the National Signing Day Announcement Party the following day.
He turned to his faith, his parents and his high school coaches, the very people who had taught him that hard work and good decisions is what would shape him and determine his future.
"I think about decisions and take my time," Coley said. "You can make one wrong decision that will mess your whole life up. My Dad (Albert) and coaches have always preached that. I spoke to them and I prayed about the opportunity to go to FAU. I put my faith in God."
Coley came to FAU in 2012 weighing 230 pounds and he started the opening game as a true freshman, recorded four tackles, including a TFL, and stood before the post-game media like a veteran player who belonged.
"The hardest thing my freshman year was my lack of strength," said Coley. "Being undersized at 230 was hard. After the season, I knew I had to put on weight. I tried for healthy weight, not bad weight. As a sophomore, I was 275 and now my playing weight is 300."
Along with gaining good weight, he gained knowledge from respected teammates and veteran players who guided him through three head coaching changes and three different defensive line coaches.
"You have to be mentally ready too," said Coley. "I had to make decisions to watch film instead of do what my teammates might be doing. Other freshmen in my class were on the scout team and doing things to have fun. I had to study for both school and football."
His ability to transition and make decisions and to be the teammate that everyone looked to came from a foundation developed by his parents Albert and Myrtle - parents who recognized that sometimes the greatest gift is being together.
"The best Christmas gift I have ever received came after my freshman season at FAU," said Coley. "I didn't have a chance to go home for Christmas and campus was kind of lonely. My parents surprised me by coming to Boca on Christmas Day and taking me to dinner."
It is those same parents who were there when Coley earned Miramar High School's "Great Young Man Award." And, his parents will be by his side when he receives his communication degree in the spring of 2016.
The devotion Coley has for God, his family, his teammates and for FAU is woven into his character. What can't be chronicled are the hours he has spent preparing for games, the time spent conditioning to withstand the toll that just eight others playing NCAA Division I football this season have been able to accomplish (46 or more consecutive starts). What his teammates will remember were the encouraging late night phone calls or the simple jesters of kindness that only come from someone who aspires to be remembered as a "Great Young Man".