Trent excelled at football from the start. At the end of his freshman season, he was given the choice to either tryout for freshman basketball, or stick with football and join the varsity team for their postseason run. Trent chose football, and he’s stuck with it ever since, thanks in large part to the team’s success over the weeks that followed.
His high school, Brophy Prep, went on to win the first state championship in school history. From that moment on, Trent Murphy was a football player.
“That was such a cool experience to be part of,” he recalls. “I was hooked on that, the camaraderie and the success we had from hard work. It was almost addicting. The rest is history.”
A BEAST IS BORN
Over his high school career, Trent grew into a position on the defensive line, taking the end spot on a 4-3 defense. It was a natural fit given his size and athleticism, and coaches quickly imagined that he’d be able to wreak havoc in the backfield against opposing offense.
They weren’t wrong, but it took a little time. Trent went into football a true novice, having not watched the game growing up, and with no previous playing experience to draw from. During his freshman season, when coaches or peers mentioned “offensive guard” or “offensive tackle,” he had no idea what they actually meant. Trent just knew one thing, one speed. But at that stage, with his natural gifts, that was enough.
“I was literally just a madman out there, hitting things blindly,” he said.
He credits the coaches at Brophy Prep, particularly the team’s defensive coordinator and strength coach Gary Galante, with helping turn him from a wrecking ball, with no rhyme or reason to his play, into a finely-tuned player in short order. A large part of that was due to the discipline and toughness instilled by Galante, who watched videos of BUD/S training done by Navy Seals, and incorporating their techniques into his players’ strength and conditioning workouts.
“Some of the finishers that we had and being able to just hold your body position in certain positions and push past the point of physical fatigue and use your mind to go past those things. It was a pretty unique experience,” Trent remembers.
By his sophomore year, Trent was not only stronger and tougher, he was also grasping how to play the game of football and particularly, how to be a standout defensive lineman. He started to understand blocking concepts, why offenses would attack the defense in a certain way, and how as a defensive lineman he could fight offensive pressure to make plays on defense.