The road back home: Florida A&M’s Trey Wilhoit is exactly where he’s supposed to be

The road back home: Florida A&M's Trey Wilhoit is exactly where he's supposed to be
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 7:23 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Sometimes life doesn’t go the way you planned. For Florida A&M punter Trey Wilhoit, life may have taken some unexpected twists and turns, but he is now right where he’s supposed to be.

“You go on this sideline, I’ll go on this sideline, and we can just punt back and forth, get you warm,” remembered Wilhoit of one of the first times he punted in high school. “Coach came out, team was there all watching, they were like, why don’t you just do this? You seem to be good at it.”

It’s a story that begins at Chiles in more ways than one.

“We were always friends and we had a crush on each other, but he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend,” smiled Wilhoit’s wife, Nikki.

Life, sometimes takes time to figure itself out. Wilhoit, became the top junior college punter in the country in 2021 before committing to play at Eastern Illinois.

“Came home, I had actually just started dating my now wife,” he remembered. “By the time I was leaving for fall camp on July 27th, I left on the 29th, on July 27th, we found out she was pregnant.”

“We knew we wanted to keep her, and have a family, we knew we wanted to marry each other, but we didn’t know how we’d go about it,” added Nikki.

Wilhoit went back to school. Nikki came along, but the goal was always to get back home to Tallahassee.

“The day I got back to Eastern Illinois, I walked into the head coach’s office and I told him,” he said. “He said give us everything you got, and you won’t even need our help to transfer.”

Wilhoit became a FCS Punter of the Year Semifinalist, helping Nikki through her pregnancy as best he could.

“We would Facetime all the time,” said Nikki. “Every single night, we would fall asleep on Facetime.”

“My mom would Facetime me and hold the phone so I could see all the stuff on the Ultrasound,” added Wilhoit.

“It was definitely hard. Harder than I thought it was going to be,” admitted Nikki. “Then when he decided to come home. I think it was the best decision for us.”

Home became Florida A&M University.

“There are a lot of reasons he needed to be back in Tallahassee, it’s a blessing to us, but to have Trey Wilhoit here will definitely make our team that much better,” said head coach Willie Simmons.

The All-American Punter was coming back to Tallahassee.

“The day we walked in to FAMU, and we sat with Chili (Davis), and Simmons said we’ll give you the full scholarship, the whole deal, he said yes, and I looked at him like...” laughed Nikki.

The Wilhoits were married February 2nd, 2023. Their baby girl, Serenity Nicole Wilhoit, was born April 11th.

“They pulled her out, put her on Nikki’s chest, and I just remember, it started on the top of my head and went all the way down to my feet, something left my body,” said Wilhoit. “I broke down, and started crying.”

Wilhoit became dad, husband, and football player.

“That FAMU-ly they talk about, it’s real,” he said. “They really do want the best for you on and off the field.”

Nikki helps hold down the fort at home.

“I told him when I met him, I know you want to go to the NFL, and I’m willing to work and take care of her so you can live out this dream.”

“My wife kills it,” said Wilhoit. “She does a great job. She takes nights so I can sleep and perform. Whenever she goes and performs and takes care of the baby, I’ll sit back and cheer her on.”

Two young people doing life their way.

“To be able to juggle football, juggle school, being a parent, being a husband, its a full time responsibility,” said Simmons. “I think he’ll be a guy the rest of our players can look to as an example of how to be a man and do things the right way.”

“Just because it didn’t go exactly how it was planned,” said Wilhoit. “That’s more fun, you know? The fun of it is not knowing how it’ll happen at all and rolling with the punches and making it the best I can make it.”

Living the dream, right here, in Tallahassee, where the story began.

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