More than ‘The Football Player’

Former Trojan Trevor Trout celebrates after a game his freshman year. He retired from playing football because of injuries and made the transition to becoming part of the sports media world, where he is now an intern at Fox Sports and works for
Former Trojan Trevor Trout celebrates after a game his freshman year. He retired from playing football because of injuries and made the transition to becoming part of the sports media world, where he is now an intern at Fox Sports and works for (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics/John McGillen) 

Walking into senior Trevor Trout’s apartment, it’s clear he has an affinity for sports. Jerseys and flags drape the walls, and a large TV sits across from a couch. This is where Trout goes to work, tweeting about sports to over 11,000 followers on his Twitter @totaltroutmove.

Trout is an intern at Fox Sports and works for in Santa Monica. However, he was once a part of the genus he now covers. He originally came to USC as a defensive lineman on the football team but retired in 2020 due to injuries. 

“I kept feeling this chip in my back,” Trout said. “It started getting inflamed. I would just be hobbling after workouts and whatnot. They used to ask me, ‘Trevor are you fine?’ … One day I was just like, ‘No, this is really bad. I can’t keep doing this.’” 

When the pandemic came around, it gave Trout a lot of time to think about his future in football and develop his skills in the media. 

“The pandemic gave me a lot of time to sit in the house and lock in on some other stuff,” Trout said. “I was building my other stuff outside of the game, so it made it an easier transition
when I retired.” 

Although they miss having him on the team, Trout’s former teammates have given him their full support. They saw the pain that playing football gave him every day and believe that he made the right choice, even if it is hard for them to say goodbye to a teammate. 

“It’s tough just because you don’t want to see any of your friends or really anyone in as much pain as he was,” former teammate and friend Liam Douglass said. “But he’s a strong guy. I’m happy that he is now a lot happier because he’s not dealing with a lot of the pain … that he was feeling. As a friend, it was tough to see him battle through that everyday.” 

After retiring from football, Trout threw himself into the role of being a “person in the media,” as he calls it. 

“I’m not a media person, I’m a person in the media,” Trout said. “I’ll always look at it that way because the thing is I never imagined doing this … I’m not that far removed yet … Clearly the way I look at things in terms of media and sports they must be pretty solid considering that they’ve worked.” 

Trout has made it far in his media career in a short amount of time. His former professor Alan Abrahamson believes this is because of the work ethic he developed from playing football. 

“What you’re looking for in sophomore journalism students is a ‘want-to,’” Abrahamson said. “Because Trevor had a football background, there was never any question of his discipline and his ‘want-to’ … These are all things that … go a long way, not just in determining success in football, but in journalism and pretty much all areas of grown up life.” 

Although Trout has used the skills that he learned from football well, Douglass believes that he would’ve made it this far without the sport.

“Trevor was going to be successful with or without football,” Douglass said. “He’s very smart, he’s very personable, he’s very passionate about what he loves. Whether or not this affects how successful he’ll be in the future, I think it had no bearing on that.” 

Trout not only displays a strong work ethic on the field, but he also exhibits the integrity to call out his peers when he feels as though they are operating incorrectly in the newsroom. 

“We had a football player and he got in a little [fight] at a frat party,” Trout said. “It really wasn’t that big of a deal because no one got arrested. I was in Annenberg at the time … I checked Slack one day, and someone felt it was a story worth reporting. So I remember I went to the Slack and typed in, ‘So we’re not better than this?’” 

Although Trout still has the stature of a football player, which may be intimidating to some, he has a soft inner shell once people get to know him. 

“[Trout] will do anything for the people he considers his friends and family, but because of the way he looks there’s a natural tendency for people to be intimidated by him when he enters a room,” Abrahamson said. “He and I have both remarked many times about how funny that is. In fact, he is one of the world’s greatest, kindest, most generous people … Once Trevor opens up to you and trusts you it’s a
lifetime trust.”

When Trout first transitioned from football to primarily focusing on media, he wasn’t sure if he fit in. However, after dedicating so much work to his media dream, Trevor eventually developed confidence in his ability. 

“I met a lot of really smart kids here,” Trout said. “At first I was like, ‘Do I belong?’ and then it went from ‘Do I belong?’ very quickly to ‘I’m the guy here’ … I’ll be honest with you, I used to get up at 6 o’clock every morning … This is the easiest life has been for me, probably since I was 14 years old.” 

Trout’s “no excuses” attitude has opened a lot of doors for him in his media career. It is also part of the reason he gained Abrahamson’s respect.

“He asks me for advice about stuff, and, to be honest, I ask him for advice about things I don’t know about,” Abrahamson said. “He’s a remarkable resource for a lot of things. He understands things about Twitter, things about social media … He is really, really knowledgeable about that space. He is, and I say this without hyperbole, one of the nation’s foremost experts on high school basketball recruiting. He really knows his stuff.” 

Even though Trout has been successful in his time without football, the game still calls him. When he’s watching college football games on Saturdays, he feels as though he can suit back up.

“Sometimes I feel like I can still play,” Trout said. “Even though I can’t. It’s one of the things that comes off watching the games all weekend. I’ll see a 18 or 19 year old kid, and he’s running a gap move, and I’m just like he can’t do that … That’s what happens when you get done, either feeling like you left a lot down there or feeling like you were better than you were.”

It is clear that Trout misses football, but those close to him have noticed a brightening of his mood ever since he left it in his past. 

“When he was battling through some stuff, he was more quiet, he wasn’t as outgoing or friendly,” Douglass said. “Compared to now — he’s more outgoing, he’s got a smile on his face all the time … Mentally it’s tough when you have an injury like that that you’re trying to play through. It definitely  takes a toll.” 

Trout’s kind attitude mixed with his tenacious work ethic makes for a strong combination. It is because of these two traits that Abrahamson believes that he will go far.

“Trevor Trout is a really special human being,” Abrahamson said. “He came to USC in most people’s minds as ‘the football player,’ he is so much more than ‘the football player.’ Trevor Trout in one, two, five, 10, 20 years is going to be … one of the leaders of the United States of America, mark my words. He’s that