Glenwood offensive tackle Nathaniel Trzpuc, right, throws a block as quarterback Bryce Valero fires a pass for a touchdown in the first half against Lee-Scott on Oct. 19, 2018.

During his time at Glenwood, offensive lineman Nathaniel Trzpuc made a habit of harassing defenders from the start of the game until the clock hit all zeroes. That ability to dominate has followed him to the collegiate level and has earned Trzpuc some real recognition entering his sophomore season.

Trzpuc has been named a Preseason Junior College first team player by Rivals’ JCGridrion site prior to the start of his sophomore season at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. Trzpuc is the starting center at Coffeyville after playing left tackle at Glenwood.

“It’s amazing. It’s an accomplishment that I’m proud to say I’ve earned,” Trzpuc said. “It was hard at first learning the speed and how fast the game is compared to high school, and the season was a time I could learn and figure things out. After the first two games, I just said,

‘Screw it. I’m going to play my game and make sure my team’s in the best position to win.’

“I learned the playbook fast, and it was smooth sailing after that.”

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman wasted little time in earning a starting role for Coffeyville in 2019. He ultimately played in seven games per the team’s official website and did his part to show he was capable of getting the job done at the next level.

For those who watched Trzpuc at Glenwood, his dominance is no surprise.

Trzpuc was a man amongst boys while with the Gators, and it was evident that he was truly a key piece for the Glenwood offense. That was certainly the case during his senior season two years ago, as he racked up 33 pancake blocks and saw 85 percent of the Gators’ offensive players run behind him.

Thanks to his stellar play, Glenwood reached the AISA Class AAA state semifinals for only the second time since 2011.

“I guarantee you if you talked to any team that played me and scouted us, they knew that I ran the ball 90 percent of the time to the left because if we needed a yard we were going to run behind him. He was that great of a player. He was that forceful and that dominant of a player. Obviously, it’s carried over to JUCO,” Glenwood coach Jason Gibson said. “It’s a hard pill to swallow coming out of high school when you’re his size and his caliber and you don’t get a bunch of D-I offers. The fact that he took the long road around to get to where he’s at now — and now he’s on the verge of having unbelievable success.

“I’ve got to tell you, I think ‘Tater’ is an NFL talent. I think he’s going to be a NFL prospect. Who knows if he’ll ever play, but he’ll be an NFL prospect.”

Trzpuc’s success at Coffeyville hasn’t gone unnoticed by major college coaches, either. He’s already received scholarship offers from UAB and South Alabama plus considerable interests from other programs, including Auburn, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin.

Trzpuc will likely have several more offers coming, but his main concern is the 2020 season. He said he’s worked all offseason to get more explosive and more athletic before his sophomore year, and he’s continuing to work on his own until his team his able to reunite for what’s left of the offseason.

Trzpuc thanked the Glenwood teachers for demanding the best out of him as well as Gibson and Glenwood offensive line coach Brandon Thomas for teaching him the work ethic he needed to succeed at the next level.

Those lessons have served him well at the next level; now, Trzpuc is just counting down until he can teach his opponents his own lesson or two.

“I can’t wait. I’m excited to get in there and be with the boys,” Trzpuc said. “I’m waiting for the first person to line up against me. I’ve got so much built up from not having spring, they are going to feel every ounce of anger I got for every play.”

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