Chance Trujillo was all in for his senior season of football. Utah, after all, was one of the states able and willing to stage a high school football season in Fall 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trujillo’s dual-threat talent under center led Davis High to a 5-0 start and, with Spencer Ferguson and David Spjut, made the Darts a tough offensive guard all season. Trujillo completed 60% of his passes for 2,581 yards in 12 games, throwing 22 touchdowns to six interceptions, and ran it for 31 yards per game.
The Darts won two playoff games before bowing out, and Trujillo had a full scholarship offer to New Mexico Military Institute and ongoing conversations with Weber State, Dixie State and junior colleges. Football, it seemed, was his future, and he was mentally prepared to play a season at NMMI and see where the chips fell.
Tuesday, however, the 6-foot-4 Trujillo committed to a walk-on spot with Weber State basketball.
As long as he can remember, from as a little kid until his senior year, the multi-sport athlete always identified basketball as his top passion.
“So I thought maybe I could do this in basketball too, and see what happens. So this season I said I’m going to put in the same work I did for football,” Trujillo said.
Trujillo was prepared, and Davis wasn’t bad despite losing all but one starter from a team that played for the state championship in 2020. Davis went 5-3 in non-region play, but with double-digit losses to some of the tougher teams on the slate, then began region play 5-0 before a loss to rival Layton, which appeared to put Layton in the driver’s seat of the Region 1 race.
Trujillo had mostly been playing center for the undersized Darts and was battling, but wasn’t exactly showcasing what he felt he could do, or contributing to winning like he wanted to. His motor and strength were showing through, but not necessarily his shooting or playmaking abilities.
Head coach Chad Sims had the answer, moving Trujillo to the wing and putting junior Max Painter inside.
Trujillo became nearly unstoppable, and the Darts were literally unbeatable.
Davis won its final 12 games, storming to the 6A state title as a No. 7 seed by beating Layton in the regular season, again in the playoffs, and also taking down two of the teams that handed the Darts losses in non-region play.
In those 12 games, Trujillo shot 57.5% (61 of 106) from the field, 53.7% (36 of 67) from 3-point range and averaged 14.5 points per game.
“The thing about Chance is he can just step off the football field and make a shot,” Sims previously told the Standard-Examiner about Trujillo. He said the guard would regularly find times during football season to get up shots in the gym.
Down the stretch, Trujillo scored 20 points in his team’s semifinal win and 19 in the championship game, shooting 10 of 18 from the 3-point line.
“I played my best basketball and it got me out there,” Trujillo said.
So began his conversations with college basketball coaches, leading to plenty of interest from Division II and junior college programs, with a full offer from Utah State-Eastern.
But Weber State assistant Eric Duft came to Sims to ask about Trujillo, knowing the Wildcats would need a handful more scholarship and walk-on players for the 2021-22 season.
Eventually, the USU-E coach called WSU head coach Randy Rahe to find out if he should keep holding a scholarship for Trujillo or move on.
“I think that helped a lot,” Trujillo said. “Coach Rahe talked a lot about my toughness and my leadership. He kept saying I could potentially contribute as I work my way up and compete, playing like a 2-guard for them. But they definitely put emphasis on my toughness and leadership.”
So, one of the area’s top quarterbacks became one of the area’s best guards and will now walk on to Weber State, where his grandfather Dave Trujillo ran track and spent 40-plus years, including 30 as director, leading WSU’s Upward Bound program.
Trujillo is interested in studying something in the medical field or in the business program, and to “be working my butt off every day and trying to show the coaches that I can play.”
The opportunity to get into the mix with a Division I roster was enough to turn down a scholarship offer to a junior college, and that’s what has Trujillo “super excited” to start college.
“They told me this first year is going to be a year of development, getting introduced to the program, developing skills for my position,” he said. “I think the biggest thing is being introduced to the DI competition and see what it takes to play at that level, see what it takes to get minutes and actually play a Division I basketball game.
“I’d like to be part of that environment and develop my game so I can potentially play minutes in Division I basketball.”
Reporter Patrick Carr contributed to this story.