FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) --- It’s no surprise that Franklin-Simpson football standout, Tre Bass, committed to play football at WKU. He capped off his senior season with the Wildcats as a state champion and as one of the best running backs in the state.
For most, the story halts at his commitment and skips to the moment he steps onto the turf of Houchens-Smith Stadium on gameday. People forget about the months of lung-busting sprints and weightlifting, until his body feels like Jell-O, to simply meet the demands of college football. Football season doesn’t start on the first day of practice. It starts now.
This same preparation is being replicated by hundreds of college football recruits across the country. Each of these players are fighting for their spot on a college football field, Bass, like some of these recruits, will have an even bigger challenge though as they enter college as a walk-on. This means that Bass will be on the team like everyone else, but he’ll have to earn a scholarship during the season.
He doesn’t have a problem with being in this position though. He came into his explosive senior season with only two FCS offers on the table. According to the future Hilltopper, his passion for the game will always drive him through the challenge presented to him.
Bass said, “When I was 6-years-old mom put a football in my hand, and that’s where my dream started. Now, looking back on these 12 years…(football) is what I want to do, it’s what I’ve always known, I’ve always watched it. Everything I do is surrounded by football.”
The all-state selection’s love for football has been there from a young age, but his obsession with the game took time to develop. He found the drive that’s pushed him into a division 1 program during the summer after his freshman year.
Bass didn’t take football seriously during his freshman season. He enjoyed a season of joking around and having fun with his friends as they watched the Franklin-Simpson show. I can see why he was happy with sitting back on the sidelines. The Wildcats torched the Bluegrass with Isaiah Hall and Saul Brady, who both ran for over 1000 yards. In fact, it was those players who inspired Tre the following summer. By watching those players, he learned that the only thing that could catapult him to success was hard work. The difference that’s bringing Bass to The Hill is that he took it another step.
He said, “if they worked hard to get there, I’m trying to work harder to be better than them.”
Bass took that extra step straight to the weight room as he put on those 30 pounds. Anyone who lifts a dumbbell will tell you that putting that much weight in one summer is a near-insurmountable task. Bass attacked this plan by pushing his boundaries every time he stepped foot in the weight room. He said that when he is lifting weights Bass won’t start counting his reps until he starts to feel tired.
There wasn’t much difference in Bass’ preparation for college football initially. Bass had already separated himself as a division 1 prospect with his work ethic. So, he carried the same routine that made him a prospect but ramped up the intensity as far as his body would allow. According to Bass, the biggest difference comes in another form of separation. He’ll have to spend the next five months training in isolation as he finishes up his final semester at Franklin-Simpson.
Bass doesn’t have the luxury of his former Franklin-Simpson teammate and future WKU teammate Jack Randolph who enrolled at WKU this semester to join spring practices. Randolph and the many other recruits get the benefit of having a long list of trainers and strength coaches to help them along the way. Meanwhile, Bass will only have a workout plan set out by the coaching staff and a dingy weight room that looks like it came from a scene in the movie "Rocky".
Although it isn’t as nice as being on campus, Bass is relishing these solo workouts. He looks at is another opportunity to build confidence by accomplishing this feat on his own. He said, “I like to self-motivate myself so I like working independently. I can say that ‘I did that’ or ‘I worked hard for that,’ and that’s not something I want to change right now.”
(Nathan Yazdani contributed to this story)