March 18, 2014
Stanton Truitt fulfills a childhood dream as an Auburn wide receiver (Phillip Marshall photo)
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. – Since he was a little boy, playing college football has been Stanton Truitt’s goal. After two grueling months of offseason workouts, it’s time. Auburn opens spring practice this morning.
“It’s a big dream of mine,” Truitt said, “but I know it’s a journey and there are more steps to it.”
Truitt, 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds and the son of former Arkansas safety Stanley Truitt, was an electrifying quarterback at Monroe (Ga.) Area High School. As a senior, he rushed for 1,551 yards and 24 touchdowns, leading his team to an 11-1 record. He excelled in the classroom and graduated in December. He chose Auburn over more than two dozen offers from across the country and enrolled in January.
“I’ve just always liked football,” Truitt said. “I’ve always wanted to learn everything I could. I wanted to get the knowledge down. If you learn everything you can about the game, the rest will be easy to you.”
A quarterback since he started playing at the age of 5, Truitt will be a wide receiver at Auburn.
“I’ve played quarterback my whole life,” Truitt said. “It will be a little transition, just to get used to being in a position not getting the ball on every play and the little things I need to learn. I think it will all come along.
“I knew when I was being recruited it was going to either be corner or receiver. That’s pretty much what I wanted to do anyway. I think it worked out for the best.”
Auburn wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig agrees. Once he saw video of Truitt making plays and scoring touchdowns, he believed he wanted him to play at Auburn. Once he saw him play live, there was no doubt.
“His highlight film is like a video game,” Craig said. “He touches the ball and he scores touchdowns. I went to watch him play, and he scored three or four touchdowns in the first quarter. He is very fast. Last year, he ran a 10.3 100. He's probably faster now. He's very strong. He's able to run through tackles. He's able to stick his foot in the ground and get north and south.”
Truitt, a Miami fan for most of his life, was a priority recruit for schools across the SEC. He received 102 letters in one day from the University of Tennessee. But he knew after he visited Auburn what he wanted to do.
“It was just the atmosphere and the coaches,” Truitt said. “I love the way the guys work. When I saw their attitudes and work ethic, I’d seen pretty much everything I needed to see.”
His father wanted to know about more than football. Academics are a high priority in the Truitt family. Stanton’s older brother, Davon, is on a full scholarship at NIT.
“I think it’s perfect,” Stanley Truitt told 247Sports. “Stanton had a bigger brother to get the tutelage for academics. It worked out because, being an athlete, he couldn’t have found a better place than Auburn.”
From the first day he set foot on a football field, Stanton Truitt was smaller than most of his teammates. But he was faster than all of them.
“I knew my size would be in play and everything,” Truitt said. “People would talk to me, but no offers. I got my first offer from Arizona State in December of my junior year and everything kind of took off from there. Everybody is going to doubt you at some point in your life. Some schools didn’t recruit me as hard as I wanted them to, but that’s OK. It’s just motivation.”
Truitt’s father is a personal trainer and the cousin of all-time great Auburn and NFL offensive lineman Steve Wallace. He knows what it takes to play in the SEC, and his son soaked in all of that knowledge he could.
“It helped a lot,” Truitt said “From his standpoint, he would tell me about his experience and where he went wrong in things. He didn’t want me to make those same mistakes. On days I didn’t feel like doing things, he would push me to do it because he knew that’s what it would take. It’s paid off to get me to this point.”
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: