By Gabriel Stovall
TYRONE, Ga. — A week ago when Sandy Creek trotted out its typical National Signing Day class, complete with a handful of guys talented enough to be signed by Division I schools, Chip Walker had something extra to stick his chest out about.
His name is Antonio Trapp. When the 6-foot, 180 pounder sent over his signed letter of intent to play football at Boston’s Brown University, it gave Walker an occasion for his pride to swell a bit.
And it’s not just for Trapp’s capable performances and do-anything attitude he exhibited on the field for the Patriots over the last four years, but because Trapp’s signing to an Ivy League school portrays something Walker hopes more people will take note of regarding his kids.
“Antonio is the second kid in a row we’ve had go to an Ivy League school,” Walker said. “I’m as proud of that as I am anything. Those Ivy League schools are the SEC of academics. It’s a great situation for Antonio. He’s going to get a life changing education there and play some good football.”
For Trapp, it’s also a dream come true.
“I’ve always wanted to go Ivy League,” Trapp said. “Last year when (former Sandy Creek safety) Josh Greene went, I looked at that even more as something that could be done.”
The following summer after Greene’s departure from Tyrone to Boston, Trapp decided to do all he could to put himself in a similar position when his time to sign on the dotted line would come.
Trapp went to all the Ivy League camps he could find, and took official visits to Brown and Princeton before picking Brown over Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Army and Navy.
Brown won out in the end, Trapp said, because of the comfort level he felt with the coaching staff and the at-home vibe present in all his visits.
“Brown had more of a family aspect going for it,” he said. “When you’re going so far away from home, you want to be somewhere where you feel you can settle down and connect with everyone. They’re football is great, and I feel I can make an impact immediately.”
And having a former high school teammate there didn’t hurt, either.
“With Josh Greene being there, and him being a former Patriot, it definitely makes the transition easier,” Trapp said.
So too does the flexibility Brown offers with Trapp’s intended studies. Armed with a 3.4 grade point average and a vast music and arts background — he plays the trumpet, is a percussionist like his dad and he sings — Trapp said he’s going to major in music at Brown, and then continue on to law school.
He has post-football aspirations of becoming an entertainment lawyer.
“I’ve been in music all my life,” he said. “Like I said earlier, my dad is a percussionist and my mom is a dancer. I’ve been singing in chorus for the last four years.”
Perhaps it’s not the stereotypical cache of skills and abilities you’d find from a football standout on one of the state’s perennial powers. But Walker believes Trapp’s versatility on and off the field is what makes him special.
“Antonio is a defensive back, but he played linebacker as a senior just because we needed him,” Walker said. “He did whatever you asked him to do, and that’s just big. That’s just the kind of kid he is. He’s a great kid. You talk about having a kid where you never have to wonder about where he is or what he’s doing, Antonio is the one.”
But don’t let the Ivy League destination and choir boy persona fool you. Trapp sees himself as a bonafide football player who has another dream more in line with a typical gifted athlete.
“I’ve always had aspirations to play in the NFL since I was little,” Trapp said. “Since I would watch my favorite team, the (Dallas) Cowboys, I always dreamed of it. I’ve found that it’s not a common road to take the Ivy League route into the NFL, but I don’t see a problem. I’ve seen where others have done it, so I know I can too.”