There is no well-worn path from Vermont to the NFL. In fact, according to USA Today, there were a grand total of zero players in the league from Vermont during the 2013 season. Compare that to 225 players from California and 186 players from Florida, and it makes sense that big-time college recruiters won’t be making too many stops in the Green Mountain State this fall.
Tré Diemer, from Shelburne, is an upcoming freshman quarterback at Rice Memorial High School, and he knows all the numbers. He knows all the odds that are stacked against him, and he doesn’t care. “I want to put Vermont football on the map, and I am confident that in the age of YouTube and online recruiting, I can give myself a chance if I work hard enough,” Diemer said during an interview in Shelburne last week.
Diemer recently participated in two camps that were put on by Football University, an organization that runs camps and all-star games for middle school and high school football players. The first one was outside of Boston in early July and the second took place on July 20 in Ohio. Diemer was selected for the second, more exclusive, camp in Ohio because he was chosen as being among the top 20% of QBs by the counselors at the Boston camp. Both camps were staffed by former NFL and elite college players, and FBU alumni include 2015 overall #2 pick Marcus Mariota and San Francisco star safety Eric Reid.
It is because of camps like this, as well as easy access to YouTube and video-based national scouting sites, that Diemer may have a chance when others from Vermont have failed in the past. Anyone from anywhere can now upload their scouting video online, and recruiters no longer have to leave the comfort of their desk to recruit players from far away. Then, based on a scouting video, a player can be invited to a national camp and judged against his peers from around country. This apparatus wasn’t in place ten years ago, but Diemer has come along at the right time. If scouting videos continue to lead to invitations to national camps (and good performances at camps lead to spots on recruiting rankings, and so on), Diemer could one day receive a college scholarship without a recruiter ever setting foot in Vermont.
Diemer started playing football in second grade and joined the CSSU Bucs in 5th grade. After the 5th grade season, he missed the entire 6th grade year with a torn ACL. In order to recover, Diemer searched the best ACL rehab exercises on Google. “Rehabbing that injury is the hardest thing I have ever done,” said Diemer.
Thanks to the vigorous rehab, Diemer did recover, and by 8th grade he was dominating pop warner for the Bucs, leading the team to a 5-4 record after going 0-8 the year before. This is what led him to sending in his tape to FBU and being selected for the Boston camp in the first place.
One thing Diemer has constantly heard, whether it is from fellow Vermonters or from fellow campers this summer, it is that he won’t make it because he is from Vermont. “It is something that drives me every day, whether I am working out alone, or participating in a camp in front of ex NFL players. I am determined to prove them wrong,” Diemer said.
While he hopes to have an opportunity to try out for varsity this fall at Rice, Diemer is confident that Rice is the right school no matter where he ends up playing as a freshman. “I am happy to be starting school at Rice this fall, and I am looking forward to doing whatever the coaches need from me.”