Jan. 23, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. -
By Leigh Torbin
As the local star with a laid-back outgoing personality, UCF's Torell Troup became one of the most popular faces at events this week in preparation for the East-West Shrine Game. On the field Troup was a star too, attracting the attention of the 100-plus scouts who attended practices this week. In today's game at the Florida Citrus Bowl, he also attracted the usual battery of double teams and extra protections that the blocker-eating defensive tackle grew accustomed to at UCF.
Playing alongside Nate Collins of Virginia, Lindsey Witten of UConn and other defensive linemen who expect to be called early in April's NFL Draft, the East side helped hold the West to just 10 points in a 13-10 win. Troup made just one tackle in the game but his disruptive play helped hold the West to just 79 yards rushing and 251 yards of total offense in the game.
"Troup showed that he is a very physical and strong guy on the inside," said East head coach and Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel afterwards. "He can push the pocket. He's a good kid. He tries hard and does what you tell him to do. As a coach, that's exactly what you're looking for."
Troup will head back to Aventura, Fla. tomorrow to help prepare for the next step on his journey to the NFL, the league's annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. First, he caught up with a large crowd of reporters after the game. Here is a sampling of what he had to say.
On the benefit of playing in Orlando:
On hearing the "Trouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup" chant during pregame introductions:
"My mother and my father came. I had a lot of fans from UCF who came. Some of my close friends from the team like Bruce Miller came over. It was fun because everyone could see me play...It felt just like a home game. Everybody was there. It was a great experience. I'm happy it was here."
"(Troup smiles big) It felt like I was back at Bright House. It was great...It was very cool. It gave me chills a little bit. I'm glad those people came out."
On what he learned this week:
"I learned that you have to be accountable. You have to be a certain place and, if you're not, they're going to move on without you. Practice was more high tempo than in college. Everybody wants to win at their spot. Nobody wants to lose their job. Everybody was giving 100-percent out there all the time."
On how UCF prepared him to be successful:
"Coach O'Leary, being the type of guy that he is, you have to be accountable in his program. This week they really asked people to be accountable. There was no one telling you to get out of bed. There was no one telling you to go to meetings. There was no one telling you to get on the bus to go to practice. You had to do all of that on your own. Going through the UCF program has really prepared me for what is in line next."
On if this gave him a leg up on others at the Shrine Game:
"Yes, definitely. I was at every meeting 15 or 20 minutes early and there was nobody there. I was sitting there by myself. (Troup laughs)."
How do you expect out of the next three months until the draft?
"Hopefully they're going to be a great experience and also boost my stock. This is a resume that I'm putting together the next few months and this is a good way to start off my resume."
Did this week help solidify in your mind that you can play at this level?
"You always want to see how good that you can be and this week has put it in perspective for me. I already felt like I was one of the better d-tackles in the country. This week I found out that I can play with some of the nest offensive linemen in the country too."
On both starting and finishing his career at the Citrus Bowl:
"It was pretty cool. I was actually thinking about that when I was on the field. My first college game was at the Citrus Bowl and my last game here was at the Citrus Bowl. It was fun."
On the friendships he's made this week:
"I've met some great guys here from all over the country. I've met a lot of guys and will take some friendships away from this. But not just the players, the Shriners too. I've talked to a lot of those guys and they're great people who do great things.
On what the Shriners taught him:
"I learned to stay humble and to make sure that you help out when you're able to help out with the less fortunate."
On how competitive was the game (won by the East with 0:06 left to play):
"Everybody really picked it up in the fourth quarter. You could tell that the whole team really wanted to win. It got a little more intense. Guys started pushing a little bit more. Just like any All-Star Game, guys want to win and at the end of a game, it's time to really play hard."
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.