Just a quick note. As Andrew mentioned, Clarence Trent, a freshman forward on the basketball team, is on the football roster this spring. It sounds like it was his idea and both sets of coaches were all for it. He’s playing defensive end and took part in the first practice today. See Andrew’s practice report for a few more notes.
It’s pretty unlikely that Trent ever has an impact on the football team, or is even on the roster when they start play in the fall. But with most of the other defensive ends out, he’ll get every chance to show whether he has any future in football beyond this spring. He’ll get lots of coaching and practice time, and he certainly has the body and athleticism to make it happen. No one seems sure that he’s ever played football before, though, and jumping into the Pac-10 isn’t easy.
If he is playing come fall, there are some interesting implications. As pointed out by the Percy Allen and others, any scholarship athlete who plays football has to be on a football scholarship, regardless of which sport originally gave them the scholarship. So if he’s playing football, he’ll be on scholarship with the football team, which will open up another spot on the basketball team. Not a big deal for the football program, which has 85 scholarships to work with and generally has a lot of turnover year to year. It’s a huge deal for the basketball team, however, which has just 13 scholarships. Trent’s scholarship could then go to an extra recruit this year or next. Essentially, it would mean an extra player, who, honestly, would probably have more promise as a basketball player than Trent.
This will probably be a distant memory by this time next year, but something to think about. Best case scenario, it could be a move that helps both programs in multiple ways.
Andrew’s note: I’m jumping on at the end of this post because I didn’t think my thoughts were worth it’s own post. I read somewhere that the last time Trent played football was his sophomore year. As I noted earlier, Trent looked a little lost in practice today. It was impressive to see how the coaches didn’t leave him in the dark. They could spend their time with players who could have an immediate impact but they didn’t, they treated Trent as a very valuable asset to the team. I wouldn’t write Trent off, he is a freak athlete. He has just as much speed of any of the ends and looks very strong. He’ll need to put on quite a bit of weight but, who knows, this might just work.