Trenton “Tiny” Noller turned his official visit to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., last weekend into a verbal commitment to play football for the Midshipmen.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Noller, a four-year starter at center for the Windsor Wizards, verbally committed to the Navy on Jan. 26.
“I love it up there. I just love the people,” said Noller on Tuesday, a couple of days after returning from his visit. “I really like the coaches and the players. Football-wise, I think that they’re on the up. They finished ranked No. 35.”
Noller said he’ll have an opportunity to play as a freshman at either the offensive line or at nose tackle, a position he rarely played for the Wizards.
“They definitely want me to come in and make an impact right away,” Noller said.
Noller, the son of Martin and Julie Noller of Severance, said he was offered scholarships to play football and continue his education at Navy, Georgia Tech, Arizona, New Mexico State, Wyoming and the University of Northern Colorado. San Jose State and New Mexico were also interested in Noller. National Signing Day is Wednesday.
Noller said Navy was high on his list heading into his official visit. He’ll be playing with a familiar face at Navy. Windsor defensive end Zach Peck recently committed to Navy. Noller took an unofficial visit to Navy last summer.
Noller and Peck will sign their national letter of intent to play football at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the high school’s cafeteria/fireside room.
“It’ll be just kind of nice to know another guy there right off the bat,” Noller said of his high school teammate. “I actually have another buddy, Colton Johnson, he’s applying right now as a student.”
Another Windsor product, Jacob Moses, is a sophomore at the Naval Academy. Moses, a 2012 Windsor High School graduate, is also an all-around gymnast on the men’s gymnastics team.
Noller, who carries a 3.7 grade-point average, said he had his first offer from Arizona during his junior year, and that Georgia Tech offered him a scholarship last summer. Colorado and Colorado State didn’t show interest in Noller.
“After seeing the engineering department, I think that’s probably where I’m going to end up studying,” said Noller, an All-Colorado selection by The Denver Post. “I’m just a hard-working lineman who goes in there and scraps for every play.”
Once considered a four-star (out of 5 stars) recruit and the No. 1-ranked center in the country by Rivals.com last spring, Noller dropped to a two-star recruit but the recruiting letters kept arriving at the Noller household.
Navy was on top of Martin Noller’s list before his son made his official visit.
“They want him to compete on the first day on the offensive and defensive side of the ball,” Martin told Windsor Now recently. “They said they fully expect him to start as a freshman, and his first game would be against Ohio State. As a dad, you want your kid to go to the Naval Academy. He absolutely loves Annapolis. He loves the campus. He loves the program and the coaching staff.”
Navy, who is coached by Ken Niumatalolo, went 9-4 in 2013 and won the Armed Forces Bowl 24-6 against Middle Tennessee State.
Noller is impressed with Niumatalolo.
“He’s awesome. I love him,” Noller said. “He’s just so honest with you. You feel like you’re heard. That’s what I’m looking for.”