Archbishop Hoban senior DeaMonte Trayanum is a standout football player with a standout attitude.

Trayanum and his teammates prepared for the 2019 season with state championship aspirations after the Knights won their fourth state title in a row last season.

Hoban won Division III state championships in 2015 and 2016, and Division II state crowns in 2017 and 2018. Trayanum contributed to the past three championship teams, and said that the drive to win another title remains following an August practice.

“Our expectations are to come out and be the team that we are,” Trayanum said. “We try not to live in the past. We are trying to really make a new impression in the new year. The past is behind us now and we are a new team finding our identity.”

Trayanum’s identity includes a 3.7 GPA, and playing offense and defense at a level that garnered the attention of top college football programs from all over the country.

In June, Trayanum narrowed his college choices down to Arizona State, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. It was a tough decision, but the Akron native chose ASU.

“I am grateful for the college opportunity, but my main goal is to win a fourth straight championship, and after I accomplish that, everything will be about Arizona State,” Trayanum said. “Right now, I am at Hoban and I am only worried about Hoban.”

 

Path to Hoban

Before Trayanum became a standout running back, safety, cornerback and linebacker, he was a little kid attending St. Mary School with big football dreams.

Knights coach Tim Tyrrell said he first met Trayanum in 2015 at a youth camp that Hoban hosts each summer.

“I still remember him as an eighth-grader when I didn’t know him from anybody and he came up to me as a real polite kid, like he is now, and was well spoken,” Tyrrell said. “He said ‘Hey, coach, my name is DeaMonte Trayanum and I want to come to Hoban.’ I said ‘OK.’ I didn’t know him, but he said he wants to come to Hoban. Next thing you know, he had a great eighth-grade year and he came to Hoban.”

Trayanum, 5-foot-11, 222 pounds, started on the past three Hoban squads.

Trayanum talks about “bringing effort and accountability on every play,” and Tyrrell appreciates that, but he also respects the teenager for his actions away from football.

“DeaMonte is a mature person who likes engaged conversation with adults,” Tyrrell said.

 

Big-time runner

Trayanum and Tyris Dickerson shared the running back role last year. Trayanum rushed for 1,313 yards and 26 touchdowns on 106 carries, and Dickerson totaled 234 rushes for 2,107 yards and 28 touchdowns before heading to Eastern Kentucky University.

“The biggest thing about DeaMonte is that he’s always been a great football player,” Tyrrell said. “I think he has really identified his weaknesses more than most kids. He really concentrates on those things. He knows what he is good at and keeps working on the things he is good at to become great, but he had deficiencies from one year to the next that to us, you could see big time. He has really, really worked to the fact that you can’t tell now. Some of the things that he struggled with, he is actually pretty good at now.

“Like man coverage, he was never good at when he first started here. He really worked hard going into his junior year on that and was probably our best man [coverage] kid last year.”

Tyrrell said Trayanum became more patient last year waiting for linemen to open holes for him to run through, and this offseason he worked on improving his receiving skills.

“He is making one-handed catches in practice now,” Tyrrell said. “He worked all offseason on his hands. Those types of things is what make him better every year. … Obviously he is a physical freak with speed, size and natural ability.”

Trayanum also received scholarship offers from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Louisiana State, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Virginia, Purdue, Rutgers, Boston College, West Virginia and Toledo.

“We talked about college recruiting on a daily basis,” Tyrrell said. “After his freshman year, he really started to get recruited by colleges. He was very open with the fact that he liked Ohio State. Ohio State was his childhood school and he followed the team, but really he wanted to go outside of the state of Ohio from Day One. He wanted to go somewhere where it was warmer. He is not a big fan of the cold. He bundles up on 50-degree days at practice. He thought about these things and visited different places.”

Stanford emerged as a legitimate option, but it wasn’t the right fit.

“Stanford was really high on his list, but Stanford doesn’t take early graduates in December or January, and DeaMonte is a highly intelligent individual who is very mature, and one of his goals is to do that,” Tyrrell said. “He wants to graduate halfway through his senior year of high school and then go to college.”

Arizona State became a more viable option as Sun Devils coach Herman Edwards and his staff made a push to get Trayanum.

“He jelled with Herman Edwards and running backs coach Shaun Aguano, and then Marvin Lewis got on the staff,” Tyrrell said. “Marvin Lewis was the stamp. He really talked to him and went through the process of what are his real goals and what he wants to do on the academic side of things.

“They have a good process out there where they want every one of their kids to graduate after three or three and a half years. They push summer school really hard. If you are still in school in year four, you are getting your masters from Arizona State. The academic plan they have for him really sold him on going there over some other schools.”

Trayanum’s future is out west for college, but before that, he has business to take care of at Hoban, which also features Alabama tight end recruit Caden Clark, Michigan State linebacker recruit Devin Hightower and junior quarterback Shane Hamm.

“We have a lot of fun playing together,” Hoban junior linebacker Damon Ollison II. “We keep high energy and make the plays that need to be made.”

 

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the #ABJVarsity high school blog at www.ohio.com/sports/high-school. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ.