For Marietta defensive end Trey Warren, who recently committed to play at Tennessee-Martin, it would be his Blue Devils handing south Georgia powerhouse Lowndes a home loss in the first round of the state playoffs.
Marietta had to hold off a desperation comeback attempt in the final minute before winning 30-27. And it was Warren who helped punctuate the win with two sacks on that final drive.
“That was the biggest moment of the season,” said the 6-foot-2, 193-pound senior. “I felt like that gave us respect in south Georgia that we deserve. People know us and what we were about in north Georgia, but we wanted to come out and prove we can play with anybody, anywhere.”
Now, Warren will be looking to make new memories as he gets ready for the next chapter of his football career — a chance to play right away for the Tennessee-Martin, a program in the Ohio Valley Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision.
He’s also expecting to play a new position with the Skyhawks, who employ a 3-4 defense. Warren’s expecting to move to outside linebacker, where he can still rush the passer.
Now that his high school career is behind him, Warren said he occasionally drills with Marietta coach Scott Burton to familiarize himself with the 3-4. Warren added that he has to adapt to the speed of playing in a 3-4 alignment, as opposed to the more spaced-out 4-3 defense he ran with the Blue Devils.
The adjustment shouldn’t be a hard one for Warren, who has played defensive end since the age of 5.
“He’s got athletic ability,” Burton said. “You’re talking about a kid who is 35 inches (on his vertical jump) and has a 10-inch broad jump. Those jump out to college coaches. Trey has been steady for us for three years. He’s played a lot of games for us and has been very accountable, dependable and reliable.”
Warren will be joining a Tennessee-Martin team that finished 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Ohio Valley last year.
Warren, who chose the Skyhawks over Samford, Mercer, Western Carolina and Albany State, said scouts complimented him for his speed off the edge and his ability to use it to get around opposing tackles.
Adding bulk during the offseason is a requirement, and Warren said he has to make sure he reads his keys.
“I feel like I’ve made the right decision,” Warren said in picking Tennessee-Martin. “I feel like I fit in really well there and am feeling really confident right now.”
Although his Marietta career ended with a 36-15 loss to Lovejoy in the second round of the state playoffs, Warren still finished strong. He totaled 57 tackles and 9½ sacks on the season, with his biggest regular-season effort coming early on, when the Blue Devils beat Hillgrove 27-13 behind Warren’s four sacks.