By Corbin McGuire
Harry Trotter is used to doubt. He also knows how to use it to his advantage.
K-State’s junior running back used it out of high school, in his one season at Fort Scott Community College, as a walk-on at Louisville and, most recently, as a transfer with the Wildcats.
“I’d say I utilized it. I’ve always been that type of person to use that type of doubt to motivate me to be a better person and better football player,” Trotter, K-State’s second-leading carrier this season who’s only lost yards on four of his 33 attempts so far, said. “I’m going to continue to do that as I finish up here and in life, in general. I’m always going to use people’s doubt to motivate me to be a better person. I think that’s one thing that’s really stuck with me is to utilize that type of stuff.”
It’s stuck with the 5-foot-11 back since his stellar high school football career, which started just up the road in Atchison, did not end with the type of offers he hoped for and felt like he deserved.
Trotter racked up nearly 3,000 career rushing yards and 36 touchdowns at Maur Hill-Mount Academy, a private 3A school. Still, when graduation rolled around, he was left without much Division I attention.
This, he said, is when the “switch flipped.”
“I was coming up to graduation and wasn’t getting the offers I was hoping for,” Trotter said. “Deciding to take that junior college route, I think that was a time where I had to kind of swallow my pride, put all those stats in high school behind me and jump fully into this role at junior college and really prove to these people what I’m capable of doing. I think that was probably the turning point of kind of flipping that mindset on.”
This led Trotter to putting in more work, especially when he got to Fort Scott. On top of his workout load at the school, he started training at a sports performance facility in Kansas City. He would drive there on the weekends he wasn’t playing.
It was really just the start of Trotter putting that doubt to work.
“Whether it’s pushing through a tough workout or just going to do an extra workout on a day when you don’t feel like it, getting that extra film session in, that extra recovery session, it can be a variety of things,” he said, “but it’s just doing that extra stuff that other people don’t see and other people don’t want to do. You have to really lock in and try to get that edge.”
Trotter’s edge helped him rush for 503 yards and eight touchdowns at Fort Scott. It opened the door to a preferred walk-on opportunity at Louisville, where he played in nine games in 2017. It circled him back his home state, as K-State had a walk-on opening and Trotter jumped at it.
After sitting out last season and K-State changing coaching staffs, Trotter kept using that doubt, stated or not, to his benefit. He earned a scholarship this summer. He’s gotten at least five touches every game this season.
“I feel like I’m a lot better (because of my journey), and looking back at it, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Trotter said. “I’ve had a lot of great times and a lot of different really fun experiences on my route. Ending up here, it just kind of feels like everything’s falling into place. I couldn’t have asked for better teammates. I couldn’t have asked for better coaches than what I have now. God’s plan coming full circle with me has been pretty amazing.”
So, as K-State (3-2, 0-2) hosts TCU on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., on FSN, Trotter has tried to show his teammates the way through adversity and doubt. It starts, he said, with channeling it into hard work. From there, it’s trusting the process.
“I think my teammates see through my actions that I try to prove that I’m a hard worker each and every day, and I try to never be outworked by anybody. I think that’s one thing that’s helped me get to the point where I’m at now,” he said. “I just have to continue to do that. There are a lot of players on this team that have that same mindset that I do, that we just have to prove to a lot of people what we’re capable of doing.
“Through the ups and downs, you have to maintain confidence in yourself. You have to maintain that work ethic you’ve had your whole life. When things get tough, it’s not going to stay tough forever. You just have to continue to work hard, continue to trust that the Man above has a plan for you guys, and I think everything will work out in the end.”
Source: Kansas State Sports