‘Made Me Stronger’: Trey Potts Is Ready To Compete After Injury Sidelined Him Last Season
Trey Potts is back. And the talented running back from Williamsport is ready to make up for lost time. Add in the fact that he will be rejoining an already potent offensive attack, and there is plenty of reason to believe the Millionaires will once again be the most prolific offensive team in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Potts missed his junior season after suffering a partially torn ACL in his right knee in the summer.
“I went to a Penn State camp and had a really good camp,” Potts said. “I was looking at maybe receiving an offer at the end of camp. It was one of the last plays, I was doing a one-on-one route and the ball was kind of bad. I went to catch it and someone got tangled up with me and I kind of twisted it.”
Not thinking the incident was anything too severe, Potts took the rest of the day off. After about two weeks off, Potts attended a camp at Notre Dame, and once again performed well.
But the next time he took the field, the situation escalated.
“It was a 7-on-7, I played a couple of games and one of the last games I made a weird cut,” Potts recalled. “I felt a pop. I went and got the MRI and it said it was partially torn. My family and I decided to have it done then, rather than later.”
The surgery relegated Potts to being a spectator, missing an opportunity to add to his already impressive numbers he piled up in his first two seasons with the Millionaires. He has rushed for 2,923 yards and has 53 touchdowns, of which 47 are rushing.
But all numbers aside, last season was a learning experience. He saw the game from a different perspective, mostly on film and in the press box.
“It was difficult, both mentally and physically,” Potts admitted. “I had physical therapy, I would go to practice and school. Mentally, I had some late nights just thinking. It really hurt (not being able to play). Some people don’t know what it’s like to get the game taken away from them. It kind of made me stronger.”
So much so, that there were periods during the rehab process when Potts was outperforming his physical therapist — to the point where the therapist needed to get creative and make the process more challenging.
“The physical therapy was really hard,” Potts said. “I was just focusing on the hamstrings and quads, just doing things to help the strength around the knee. I had to go hard because that was the only way I knew I would be able to come out of it.”
From the mental side of things, Potts believes he has grown as a football player. At nights, he would watch film at home. He would help the running backs at practice, and then take his seat in the press box or stand on the sideline and watch the games.
If there was one positive out of it all, it’s that he was able to watch quarterback Joe Fagnano and wide receiver Marcus Simmons take their games to another level. Fagnano threw for 2,413 yards and 30 touchdowns, while Simmons caught 72 passes for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Even without Potts on the field, the Millionaires still averaged 407.5 yards and 36.4 points per game.
“I’ve seen that since we were playing Pop Warner,” Potts said. “I knew what type of players they are and the things they can do. Last year, they had the chance to showcase what they can do.”
Through it all, Potts had the chance to grow as a person and a football player. In terms of football, he believes he is schematically smarter and can quickly point out if someone is lined up wrong. Off the field, he had a taste of what it was like to have the game taken away from him, and what it took to get back to this point where he is ready to take the field once again.
He also found out that despite the injury, there were still college coaches who believed in him enough to extend scholarship offers. And that led him to give a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota over the summer.
“It was all just a blessing,” Potts said. “Rutgers offered me first, and I was blown away. Then the offers just started rolling in. It just showed that injuries happen and college coaches had the confidence in me as a player and a person.”
After visiting various colleges up and down the East Coast, Potts and his family decided to take a trip out to Minnesota since it was one of the schools that extended an offer.
“My parents and I have done a lot of different things with the recruiting,” Potts said. “We took a trip to Minnesota, and all the boxes I wanted checked were checked. They are really building something out there. It just felt like home. I’ve been a lot of places, and I could really see myself playing there.”
This year, Potts will create another headache for defenses preparing for the Millionaires. He said he is not worried about taking that first hit, and is looking forward to picking up where he left off.
“This year, not only am I physically more powerful than I have ever been, my mindset is different,” Potts said. “I am just going to do the things I need to do to help my team. I am ready to go.”
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