NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Thomas Wilder is known through the halls of Green Run High School as “Big Teezy.”
“I was always the biggest one in my class … one day, somebody just called me Teezy, and it stuck,” Wilder said.
At 15, Wilder is 6-foot-7 and 1/2 inches tall and 293 pounds. He’s an offensive tackle for the Stallions, and last season he was such a vital piece to the success of the team.
But, he’s been working on his craft in silence for years. Ever since Wilder was 8 years old, he’s been training with Brandon Trusty, a former CFL and AFL player, and 757 native. Trusty trains some of the best student athletes in the area, but has his own standard for success off the field.
“When you walk in, first thing I ask is ‘how was school?’ That’s all I care about,” Trusty said.
Trusty requires at least at 3.0 GPA in order to train with him. He considers himself a coach in not only sports, but life. That coaching on and off the field of play has inspired Wilder to pursue his education, and take it just as seriously as football.
“It’s so important, it keeps you focused and out of trouble,” Wilder said.
Right now, Teezy has 16 Division I offers from some of the best football schools in the United States. Georgia, Florida, Virginia Tech, Duke, the list goes on and on. The one constant in Thomas’ mind is that those are all great institutions where he can get an education, and be the first in his family to walk across the stage, and receive his college degree.
“My mom is my why. My family. My brothers. I don’t want them to find me on the side of the road,” Wilder said.