The recruiting process can be long and difficult for many high school football players.

Not Blake Trainor.

Trainor, an offensive tackle at Hallsville, committed to Texas A&M earlier this month. He said he felt a connection during his first trip to College Station.

“The second I stepped on campus, it clicked," Trainor said. "That was home. The big things were coach Fisher being brought in and I fell in love with Jim Turner, their offensive line coach. The people there are top notch.”

Texas A&M fired coach Kevin Sumlin after a 7-6 season and a Belk Bowl loss to Wake Forest. The Aggies hired former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, who brings a national championship and an 83-23 record to College Station.

Trainor said Fisher's track record was a major reason why he committed.

“You’ve seen him win before and you know he has it in him to do it," Trainor said. "Experience takes you places in this world.”

Hallsville struggled this past season in coach Joe Drennon's inaugural year. The Bobcats went 1-9, their lone win coming by a single point against Mount Pleasant. But Trainor (6-7, 300) provided a bright spot in an otherwise gray season.

"He got in the weight room like we needed him to," Drennon said. "He’s put it back on in the right way. He concentrated on his footwork. He got better every ball game. He progressed a lot last year. That’s just part of growing up and hopefully some of what we do with them. Mostly just on him being the worker that he is and person that he is, he decided to get it right.”

Trainor said expectations are higher for the second season under Drennon, who won a state championship with Mineola in 2016.

He doesn't get much opportunity to pass block in practice, as Hallsville is a run-first team. To make up for it, he has been practicing with friends and doing footwork drills on his own. It's that effort that Drennon said separates him from most.

When Hallsville steps on the field against Terrell to open its season in August, Trainor will be targeted. It's one of the prices that comes with being highly recruited. He doesn't mind, though.

“There’s a big ‘ole target on you," he said. "Everybody expects you to be picture perfect. You have to stay in between the lines. There’s no room for error.

"But that’s just what it is.”

East Texas 25 Class of 2019

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