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Local star starts over

Donald Truex (ENMU Athletic Communications Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Once an athlete conquers a challenge, there is always another one to obtain. High school graduation gave former Roswell football star Donald Truex his next challenge. Going from playing against high school competition he used to dominate, to having to start over again against men has been rough.

Everything has been an adjustment for the former Coyote. Last year, Truex was starting on the Roswell football team here and helping to lead them to the playoffs. He was so dominating an athlete he made All-State in football and track.

Truex has seen the difference in moving up from high school to the collegiate Division II level of competition.

Truex has found a way to make his presence felt on the football field at Eastern New Mexico University, just not in the way he envisioned, yet. Truex has been redshirted this season, which allows him to practice with the team during the week, but not dress for games. With the pressure off of having to contribute right away, redshirting allows Truex to learn ENMU’s system on the field and get acclimated  to college life in the classroom.

“Truex has done a good job adjusting from high school to college level football, ENMU offensive line coach Andrew McCraw said. “There is always an adjustment period, but he has handled it well.”

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On the practice field, he often imitates the opposing team’s offensive lineman. Recruited as a defensive tackle, the Greyhounds moved him to offensive center to take advantage of his strength and quickness off the ball. During his freshman year, Truex has added 10 pounds of muscle to his frame, going from 240 pounds to 250 pounds.

“He has all the physical tools to be successful in our system,” McCraw said. “He has shown flashes of developing into our kind of offensive lineman. He reminds us (ENMU coaches) of our current center Lane Cummings when he was a freshman, we look forward to his continued development as a Greyhound football player.”

The Roswell Daily Record caught up with Truex at the Goddard-Roswell football game Friday.

RDR: What has been the biggest change you have had to make from High School to DII?

DT: The biggest change I have had to make is switching positions from D-line to O-line.

RDR: Do you feel you have to get stronger in the weight room to play?

DT: Yes. The players are bigger and stronger at this level, and I know I have to work hard in the weight room to battle them on the field.

RDR: Has there been an adjustment to college football?

DT: The speed of the game has been a big adjustment.

RDR: What advice would you give to other athletes from this area going to play football in college next year?

DT: You have to love the game and really want to play at the college level. It’s a big-time commitment and if you’re not completely invested in doing it, you won’t be successful at it.

RDR: What have you learned this season?

DT: I’ve learned that you have to be competitive in everything you do. Whether it’s a lifting session, or on the practice field, you have to go out and compete and work hard. Nothing is easy at this level.

RDR: Do you think you can compete on this level?

DT: Yes. I think I have the tools to play. It’s just getting in the playbook making sure I know all the plays, so I can get on the field.

RDR: Do you feel like the competition in high school prepared you for college football?

DT: Yes, and no. I played against some good teams and good players. At this level, every team is good and everyone on the team was their best player on their high school team.

RDR: What advice did your high school coach (Jeff Lynn) give you about college football?

DT: Work hard, don’t quit, and have fun. Not everyone gets this chance, and I should make the most of this opportunity.

RDR: What is your major? And what do you want to do for a career?

DT: I am undecided on a major. I really enjoy football, and I think I would like to coach in the future.

ENMU football is ranked No. 21 in the nation and have an 8-1 record, they host fourth-ranked Midwestern State University at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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