Torrodney Prevot's strong upbringing

Football, chores, job -- The Opening invitee does it all with a blue-collar mentality

Originally Published: June 29, 2012
By Damon Sayles | ESPN RecruitingNation

It's safe to say that when ESPN 300 athlete Torrodney Prevot (Houston/Alief Taylor) isn't working, he's working out.

Considered one of the nation's top defensive ends, Prevot has the summer schedule of the consummate workaholic. If he's not working out with Alief Taylor teammates or shining at a camp, he's earning a paycheck with a part-time job at a Houston-area theater.

It's not because he's in dire need of the money or because he's trying to take care of his family, a rumor he's heard more than once. Just call it another step in his transition to manhood. Prevot has grown up with the appreciation of the idea of independence, and working at the theater has taught him not only to take care of himself but also the lost art of prioritization.

"I do it so I can take care of my own expenses for my senior year," Prevot said. "There's a lot of things coming up that will need to get paid for. I don't want to be too dependent on other people."

The job will take a backseat next week, as Prevot will travel to Beaverton, Ore., for The Opening, which runs July 5-8. Prevot, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound defensive end with 23 offers, is one of 150 athletes selected to participate in the training and competition event.

Prevot was the third player to receive an invitation to the July event after an outstanding performance at the Nike Football SPARQ Combine in March outside of Houston. He posted a SPARQ rating of 102.81, which ranks No. 1 among all defensive ends nationally.

"That was super exciting," Prevot said of receiving the invite. "I'm ready to get up there and compete with the best of the best."

Prevot's upbringing has an old-school appeal to it. He lives with his mother, but his uncle and mentor, Robin Toy, considers himself "the classic, old-school uncle" who does his part in keeping Prevot on the straight and narrow.

Toy watches Prevot handle all business accordingly, whether it's taking care of classroom studies, performing household chores or giving his all in football workouts. Everything is achieved with a blue-collar mentality.

[+] EnlargeTorrodney Prevot
Scott Fink for ESPN.comDepsite his slight frame, Torrodney Prevot has proved his abilities as one of nation's top defensive end targets.

It's that foundation and structure that helps Prevot manage his daily duties. Prevot said his days start around 6 a.m., and they often don't conclude until 2 a.m. He works out, either in the weight room or on the practice field during the day, and he serves as a theater usher by night. His size also allows him to assist with security if there's an issue.

"It helps build character and promotes responsibility, as well as how to prioritize the important things in your life," Toy said. "Torrodney is being raised gratefully in part of old-school fundamentals. Some of the old-school basics have significantly set Torrodney apart from others.

"Academics is No. 1. I've always had a zero tolerance in place before the zero tolerance phrase was even intact. His athletics are a reward for his academic performance. Now that he's getting of age, his responsibilities increase, and he understands that."

Prevot said his job at the theater isn't taxing, but it does keep him on a schedule, something he'll need to get accustomed to when he's a full-time college football player. Prevot has been offered by some of the best programs nationally, including Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, USC, Oregon, Cal, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. He is ranked No. 19 among defensive ends nationally, No. 236 overall.

"If I go to work in the morning, then I'll usually go in for a later session of workouts," Prevot said. "We have two workouts at my school, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It's been easy to balance out for the most part.

"I think the best part is my job's been cool with working with me for football. I've been able to take off for stuff like The Opening."

Over the week, Prevot was in California participating in the USC Rising Stars Camp. After The Opening, he'll leave the West Coast and return to his regular schedule. If all goes as planned, he'll return to Texas as the top athlete of the prestigious event.

And if not, he'll still return as the player who understands and appreciates the epitome of responsibility.

"We are teaching him to be a successful African-American man," Toy said. "There are core principles and core values that can last him a lifetime. He's going through a transitional period from being a young man into being an adult, and with that comes responsibility and accountability.

"Every man has to stand on his own two feet. If you want to have extra, you have to do extra. I believe in the old biblical parable: Give a man a fish, he can eat for a day; teach him to fish, he can eat for a lifetime."