New Pitt offensive tackle Trey Andersen’s path to playing college football has been anything but ordinary.
A 6-foot-5, 247-pound three-star recruit out of Lehi (Utah) High School, he originally committed to BYU, but decided to reconsider enrolling in college right after college to go on a mission instead. He also reconsidered his destination.
When his father, Jason, who played three years in the NFL at center, met Panthers tight ends coach Tim Salem at a coaching conference in Nashville, Pitt got into the picture. Salem and the younger Andersen quickly formed a bond, texting back and forth with football highlights and recruitment pitches. Andersen committed to Pitt on June 30, 2020.
Like everything else he does, Andersen’s faith played a big role in his football journey and his signing with Pitt.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my dad ran in to Coach Salem,” Andersen said. “I truly believe that God needed me here for a purpose.”
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Andersen graduated high school in 2019 and spent much of the next year on a mission trip based in Fresno, California.
He traveled to the Sierra Nevada mountains, spending a great deal of time in Yosemite National Park. Despite his calling, he found time for football all the same.
“They gave us an hour a day to work out,” Andersen said. “I was able to run routes, do footwork, speed drills.”
He wasn’t able to hit the gym or lift weights as usual, however, thanks to coronavirus restrictions. All he had in his apartment were two pairs of dumbbells. He’s listed at lineman on the Panthers roster, but that’s subject to change.
“They have me learning both positions: tight end and O-line,” Andersen said. “I was more of a blocking tight end in high school.”
Andersen’s former role as a blocker gives him valuable insight into his presumptive new position. Even with that head start, though, the transition won’t be easy.
“I need to start gaining weight if I’m going to play offensive tackle,” Andersen said.
To make matters worse, he recently recovered from COVID-19, which had caused him to lose more weight. Right now, Andersen is focused on bulking up. His strategy to do so is simple.
“[I] Always keep my mouth busy. If it’s not talking, then I’m eating,” Andersen said.