Do the Eagles have their eyes set on the son of a legendary player?

FILE – Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (54) reacts during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. wears his dad’s No. 54, plays the same position and celebrates sacks and big tackles with the same signature axe swing. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)

The NFL Draft is finally here and the Eagles are officially on the clock. While the question is who will they select in the first round, Philly has been linked to one prospect in the later round for quite some time. Jeremiah Trotter Jr, son of Eagles’ legend Jeremiah Trotter, has been tied to the Eagles all offseason. Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman also admitted he is bias in favor of drafting players with ties to the Philadelphia franchise

“I’m biased towards our hometown players. I’m biased towards the people who have legacy with this franchise. So I think that’s hard. And I think that’s why, Coach talked about getting a lot of the information and trying to get myself out of that moment and just trying to make the best decision for the Philadelphia Eagles and not making an emotional decision.”

And while Howie did not mention him by name, every Eagles’ fan knows who Roseman was referring to.

“It’s hard not not to want to keep guys who have Philly ties, who understand what it’s like to play here, or to bring those guys in, and I do think it’s a plus. It’s a plus to bring someone in this atmosphere who understands what it’s like, and this is the best atmosphere in the National Football League. And I think that they know that when you win, it’s like nothing else that you experience. But it’s different versus people who haven’t experienced before.”

Jeremiah Trotter Jr is as familiar with the atmosphere in Philadelphia as the city is with him.

Stretching his wings

FILE – Philadelphia Eagles’ Jeremiah Trotter reacts after sacking Minnesota Vikings’ Daunte Culpepper during the second half of their NFC divisional playoff game in Philadelphia, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005. Several top prospects play the same positions their father played in the league. They’ll find out where they’re going when the NFL draft kicks off next week in Detroit.(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)

Jeremiah Jr is no stranger to Philadelphia Eagles fans. For starters, his father is a linebacking legend in the city, for another, Jr. wears number 54 like his father did. But more importantly, he plays the position with the same ferocity and purpose.

Trotter Jr. has been training for this moment to play in the NFL his whole life, including being coached by his father. 

“Well, I’ve been a linebacker ever since I was in middle school. So, yeah, pretty much, he’s been teaching me to play linebacker since I was a little kid. After every practice, we’re watching film. He’s coaching me up, watching film with me whenever I get back home.”

Jeremiah knows how valuable a resource he has in his father and he has soaked up all of the knowledge and listed and learned from all of his experiences.

“Learning from my dad was an experience that I really enjoyed because of all the knowledge he’s gained throughout his career in college and the NFL. All of the great minds that poured into him, he was able to pour out into me. It really helped me become the linebacker that I am today.”

But nepotism can only take you so far, and without putting in the effort yourself, one will never get where they want to be. That was never going to be the case for Trotter Junior. He is a hard worker who takes pride in his craft and has at every level. Which could fit into what the Eagles need out of the linebacker position.

“You’ve got to be a student of the game, try to learn as much as you can. You can’t just learn your position, you’ve got to know the other linebacking positions, you’ve got to know the safeties, got to know the D-line, got to know the corners, got to know everybody.”


FILE – Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (54) reacts during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. wears his dad’s No. 54, plays the same position and celebrates sacks and big tackles with the same signature axe swing. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman, File)

All of the dedication and hard work is what made Trotter Jr a four-star recruit out of St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia. He was ranked the 5th best linebacker in the state, and Clemson University was watching. 

Jeremiah is about the same size as Nakobe Dean, around 6 feet tall and weighs 230 pounds. Per mockdraftable, this is about 2 inches shorter and 10 lbs lighter than an average NFL LB, but do not let his stature fool you. He is very physical and plays a lot bigger. Clemson valued his talent and play on the field more than his size, and it played a large role in Jeremiah’s decision about where he would play college football. 

“I went to (Clemson’s) camp in my sophomore or junior year of high school. I put on some size, I was around 210 pounds. (The Coaches) wanted to see how I moved and played the game of football at that camp. They really liked it and ended up offering me a scholarship. They were one of the first schools that didn’t make an impression off how big I was at the time. They based it off how I played the game. I really appreciated that.”

The interest and respect were mutual, and Jeremiah began a two-year starting LB job for Clemson where he racked up 192 tackles (113 solo), 13 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles.

His elite play recognition is one of the reasons he put up such great numbers and is also one of the traits that separate him from the other linebackers in the 2024 NFL Draft class. But make no mistake, he wants to be a 3-down player and has proven he has the skill set and the desire to turn that dream into a reality. 

“For my game, I think I’m very versatile. I feel like I don’t have a major weakness in my game. If you need me to cover a running back or tight end, I can do that. If you want to blitz me, I can blitz. If you need someone who’s physical in the run game and taking on linemen, I can do that. That’s a part of my game that separates me from a lot of linebackers.”


Despite outsiders believing his day in the NFL was a forgone conclusion, Jeremiah never took that for granted. He stayed focused and never allowed the outside noise to be a distraction. Trotter does not allow all of the draft hype to get to him either.

“It’s definitely a blessing. It’s definitely exciting when you think about it. But I don’t let those rankings get into my head too much. I don’t want to stop doing what I did to get to this point. Of course, in my mind, I’m the best around. I know the work I’m putting in is paying off so I just need to put my head down and keep working.”

And as he heads into the NFL draft weekend, his mindset hasn’t changed.

“I’m just trying to keep my head down and grind, trying to make the best of any opportunity I get. It’s just a blessing, too, to have this opportunity.”

Like Father, Like Son

FILE – Philadelphia Eagles’ Jeremiah Trotter, left, smiles during a news conference Friday, March 4, 2005, in Philadelphia. Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, in Indianapolis. Jeremiah Trotter was a four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker who had three stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and also played for Washington and Tampa Bay during an 11-year career. His son was a finalist last year at Clemson for the Dick Butkus Award given to the best linebacker in the nation.(AP Photo/File)

Twenty-six years ago, the Eagles selected Jeremiah Trotter Sr with pick 72 of the 3rd round in the 1998 NFL Draft. He has shared his wealth of knowledge with his son while also keeping boundaries between father and coach. 

“I never asked him to do anything I’d never done. The work ethic, the discipline, everything it takes, everything you’re doing, I’ve done that. I would never ask him to do anything I wasn’t willing to do”

Junior agreed. “I was always mature, I understood my dad he loves me. He’d do anything in the world for me. Even when he was tough on me, it may come aggressive message, but you got to pull out the good things in it and what the message actually is, and what he’s actually trying to get across.”

While some fathers would be living vicariously through their son, Trotter Sr is just enjoying the ride that his son is on and happy to see his namesake be rewarded for all of the hard work he has put into the game they love.

“I’m just excited for him. Not so much reliving what I went through, just excited for him because I know all the work that has gone in from the time he first stepped foot on a football field. I know how hard I was on him, and how much I pushed him, and the sacrifices he made when he wanted to be doing other things with friends and he had to lock in on school and practice and the extra lifting he did at home or watching film at home. So that brings back those memories, just all the sacrifices and work he put in and he’s at the doorstep now, I’m just excited for him.” (interview with John Clark)

Future starter for the Eagles?

Jeremiah Trotter Jr has stated that he met with the Eagles in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine. Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni were in the meeting as well. So for those fans looking for a full circle moment, and a chance to break out those old #54 jerseys, the dream is still alive.

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman