Even in a room full of college football players, Trey Leroux is hard to miss. At 6-foot-8 and 355 lbs, he was the tallest and biggest player in this year’s Ohio State recruiting class.
But that’s nothing new. Leroux has always stood out, even when he just a kindergartener.
“I was way too big (for the kindergarten desks),” Leroux said. “I couldn’t fit under desks, I had to duck under doorways starting my seventh grade year. I don’t know how tall I was, but I was abnormally big for my age.”
That size came as something of a surprise. Leroux’s older brother was a heavyweight wrestler, but still a relatively lightweight at 220 lbs.
“My dad is 6-foot and my mom is 5-9. I’m just kind of a freak for the family,” Leroux said.
Of course it takes more than size to play football at Ohio State. Virtually every scholarship player in the program is a physical freak in some way or another and Leroux is no exception.
While he’s far from the size of a typical gymnast, Leroux can do a split. That’s something he learned after a football practice in high school.
“I was with a bunch of buddies and we were messing around and some kid did the splits and I said, ‘I’m sure I could do that too’ and I ended up doing it,” he said.
That flexibility is more than a novelty act. It also helps make him a more agile and effective offensive lineman.
“Being flexible and being able to bend, things like that were always good things for me to have,” he said.
Leroux tipped the scales at around 360 lbs when he arrived at Ohio State in early January, but it didn’t take long for strength coach Mickey Marotti to start having an impact.
“I can’t say enough about what he’s done for me. I’ve lost 30 pounds since I got here. I’m at 330 right now,” Leroux said.
As anyone who has set a New Year’s Resolution can tell you, dropping 30 lbs in a month isn’t typical. But the freshman said that he has followed exactly the same combination of diet and exercise that your doctor probably suggested during your annual checkup.
“Do the workouts and eat right,” Leroux said. “The nutrition staff here is amazing. Doing cardio and everything else and the pounds just fall off. There’s no secret to it. It’s just following the plan.”
Those workouts haven’t been easy, though.
“Going through the first day, even just going through the warm-ups, my legs hurt. It was crazy the difference between high school workouts and college workouts. But starting now I’m kind of beginning to fit the mold of what a Buckeye should do for workouts. So it’s starting to get easier,” he said.
Leroux said he has gone head-to-head with another massive lineman, sophomore Dawand Jones, both on the basketball court and in the mat drill workouts. That experience has given him a goal to work toward.
“You just have to push yourself and continue to work because Dawand has been here an extra year,” said Leroux. “So there is going to be a little bit of a gap. You just want to continuously slide closer and closer and close that gap.”