Former Cedar Ridge punter Gill declares for NFL Draft

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Updated: January 13, 2022

Last month, Trenton Gill became the first former Cedar Ridge football player to be named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.

Now, he will try to be the first Cedar Ridge player to reach the National Football League.

Gill formally announced plans to enter the NFL Draft on Twitter last week. He just completed his redshirt junior season with the Wolfpack and had another season of eligibility remaining.

Gill’s career at N.C. State ended in bizarre fashion. The Wolfpack were slated to face UCLA in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on December 28. Only five hours before kickoff, the game was canceled because of an excessive amount of positive COVID-19 cases within the Bruins program. N.C. State coach Dave Doeren, still looking none too happy, accepted the Holiday Bowl trophy from event officials the next day.

Two days later, Gill announced his intentions for the NFL Draft.

“Throughout my five years of playing football here at N.C. State, I have grown a tremendous amount,” Gill tweeted. “I appreciate all of the love and support from my family, friends, teammates, coaches, and fans throughout my career. With that, I would like to announce that I am declaring for the NFL Draft and will pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. Thank you Wolfpack Nation!”

This year, Gill led the ACC with a 45-yard per punt average. He entered this season the all-time leader in N.C. State history with a 46.3 yard per punt mark, which was the second-best average among returning punters in the ACC.

It was the second time in his career that Gill led the ACC in yards per punt. As a sophomore in 2019, Gill set a school-record with a 47.6 yards per punt average. The previous mark was set in 1974. He amassed 2,663 punt yards overall, the 11th highest single-season mark in school history. As a sophomore, he was named third-team All-ACC.

This season, Gill had two punts over 60 yards. Against Boston College on October 16, he had a 65-yard punt, a career long. Against Florida State on November 6 in Tallahassee, Gill had a 60-yard punt.

Overall, Gill had 23 punts over fifty yards in 2021. Of his 70 attempts, 31 were downed inside the 20-yard line. In his final game, a wild and memorable win over North Carolina at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh on November 26, Gill had five punts, two of which were downed inside the 20-yard line. His average of 37 yards was actually his second-lowest of the season. His long agains the Tar Heels was 54 yards.

Gill entered N.C. State after being named All-Big 8 Conference in two different sports at Cedar Ridge. He played soccer under head coach Chris Walker. In football, he was a punter and occasional linebacker under Scott Loosemore.

After redshirting in 2017, Gill played only in the season-finale against East Carolina the following year, a 58-3 Wolfpack blowout that occurred just days after the Pirates fired Scottie Montgomery as head coach. Against ECU, he had three kickoffs.

Gill won the starting punting job in 2019 and never surrendered it. His first game as punter also came against East Carolina on August 31, 2019.

While playing alongside another Hillsborough product, former Orange High linebacker Payton Wilson, Gill has maintained close ties to Hillsborough. In addition to his duties with the Wolfpack, Gill started a fundraiser for new playground equipment at New Hope Elementary School. Last week, Gill announced that he had raised enough money to buy a new slide along with hundreds of new balls.

Last Saturday, there was a special ribbon cutting ceremony that included New Hope Elementary Principal Dr. Meredith Miller.

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