(Photo Credit: Inside Lacrosse)
Just two months after committing to play lacrosse for John Tillman and the Maryland Terrapins lacrosse program, Dante Trader Jr. has now given Mike Locksley and the Terrapins football team his commitment, as well.
The 6-foot, 180-pound midfielder was the first 2021 commitment for the Terps following the contact period opening up on September 1st. Trader is rated as a five-star and ranked as the number five player in the 2021 class, according to Inside Lacrosse.
Trader said that he first realized playing both in college was a possibility when he first started to get attention in both. “Finding the right school who would let me do both was key to my decision,” Trader said.
“It means a lot to me, I had a dream of playing both sports in college since the 8th grade…Playing two sports at this high level is still unreal to me but I am ready for it.”
After transferring from Delmar Senior High School (Del.) to McDonogh (Md.) over the summer, Trader- who is listed as an athlete by 247 Sports– has helped lead the Eagles to an 11-0 season, thus far on the gridiron.
When asked about balancing both sports Trader said, “Being a dual-sport athlete you learn time management and if you excel in both sports you get more attention from coaches. I have been doing it so long it became easy to manage it. Playing two sports in college is a big jump from what I am doing now, so managing that will be a challenge.”
On the lacrosse field, the midfielder is a speedy dodger that can break through a defense and get to the cage from multiple spots on the field. Mixed with his pure speed, Trader is a deadly offensive threat as both a feeder and a shooter. With his high lacrosse IQ and great vision, he is able to make smart and effective plays, being an impact in a multitude of ways.
Trader’s father, Dante Trader Sr., is an assistant football coach for DIII Salisbury, but Trader said his father never pushed sports on him and had more of a hands-off approach which he says has helped him through the years.
“My dad is not like most dads, my dad did not force sports on to me I chose this life. My dad would give me help when I needed it with football but for lacrosse, I was on my own. Through these years I saw the work ethic of my dad and I took that and worked hard on both sports. My dad’s hand off approached helped me. He would give help if I asked but wouldn’t force or push me to do anything. This forced me to be self-motivated and driven.”
After winning in the semifinals on Friday, Trader and will cap off his football season with McDonogh on November 16th in the MIAA A Conference championship game. Trader will begin his first season with the Eagles’ lacrosse team this spring and is expected to make a huge impact in his first season in the MIAA.