Avonworth’s Trevor Faulkner has grown up with a couple of childhood passions: football and planes.
It’s now a dream come true that he’s able to combine both of those as he’s ready to embark on the next stage of his life as earlier this week, Faulkner ended his college recruitment by committing to attend the United States Air Force Academy.
The big tight end and defensive end held other opportunities from schools like Akron, Albany, Army, Buckneyll, Duquesne, Harvard, Liberty and William & Mary, but Faulkner told Pittsburgh Sports Now that the long-term reward for serving the Air Force was something he couldn’t pass up.
“I ended up choosing the Air Force Academy for a couple reasons,” said Faulkner. “They have been recruiting me for a while and they kept up that recruitment really well as they’ve called and texted me weekly, almost daily. It’s my biggest football decision, they’re a Top 25 team in the FBS along with all the incentives that come with being in the service academy.
“You get so many opportunities especially with the education, it’s like an Ivy League education but you’re not having to pay for it. The opportunities that come with that degree as well as being able to serve is awesome.”
Choosing to attend the Air Force Academy as opposed to another FBS school comes with big differences.
“I think a lot of people would be afraid of the fact that you’d have to serve for five years after the fact but in my opinion, it’s a great option,” he said. “You start out after your first year of college automatically making like $76,000 a year and it gradually goes up by $10,000 to the point where four or five years out of school, you’re guaranteed to make at least $100,000. You really don’t find that anywhere in the country. Being recruited by them and the fact that you have to serve, didn’t make a difference to me.”
Another factor that tilted Faulkner’s decision was the fact that he’s always had a fascination about airplanes and flying, something that started as a kid and a passion he shares with his father.
“I’ve always thought about being a fighter pilot even before I had football offers,” said Faulkner. “I’ve always had an interest in planes, especially military planes. I’ve always liked to watch fighter jets really, I’ve always loved it and thought this was a great option. My dad and I have always gone to air shows in the area.”
The ironic part about all of this is that a year ago, Faulkner wasn’t thinking that he’d be in a position to earn an FBS scholarship and would have a number of options to choose from. Faulkner has played quarterback all his life and moved to tight end/defensive end only after losing out on the starting quarterback job at Avonworth. Faulkner finished last season with 19 catches for 386 yards (20.3 yards/catch) and eight touchdowns.
“I’ve been a quarterback since I’ve been in 3rd grade and I’ve also loved playing defense so it wasn’t a problem getting moved to the defensive side of the ball. It kind of blows my mind that I change positions on offense and move to tight end in Week 3 last year and now I have 14-15 college opportunities at that position is pretty crazy for me.”
Faulkner believes that his future position at Air Force will be at tight end and with this huge decision out of the way, he’s now able to focus on winning another WPIAL title at Avonworth, something they accomplished last season for the first time in 60 years.
“I’ve done extensive research over the past couple of months with my parents about all these different schools and the different opportunities they would present. Making this decision did feel like a little bit of a weight came off my shoulders but it definitely wasn’t a burden. It was a great experience and one that I couldn’t have predicted a year ago. I’m now looking forward to the future and can’t wait to see what that holds.”