This article first appeared in the Cal Kickoff Gameday Magazine, Oct. 13, 2011
By Melissa Dudek
Trevor Guyton has slowly been working his way into the Cal limelight. He quietly snuck onto the field as a true freshman in 2008, making a pair of tackles in the Big Game against Stanford. In 2009, he played in all games off the bench and picked up his first career sack. Last season, Guyton worked his way into the starting lineup, helping Cal to a 20-13 win at Washington State in his first career start, setting career highs with seven tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss (-20 yards) and 2.0 sacks (-19 yards).
Guyton finally lumbered fully into the limelight when he picked up a fumble in the 2011 season opener against Fresno State and ran it back 19 yards for a very memorable touchdown, the first of his career at any level of football.
"Derrick Hill and Cameron Jordan have both done it, so seeing those guys do it always made me want to, but I never had the opportunity," Guyton said of his trip to the end zone. "It presented itself and I jumped on it. You just have to make sure no one brings you down."
Guyton's name has been echoing through stadiums all season as public address announcers credit him with tackle after tackle, and of course the memorable TD. The spotlight has found him, but Guyton has little desire to stand there alone.
"It was a great feeling to have, being able to get that first touchdown. It meant a lot for my career, but it was even better getting the win," Guyton said, turning the emphasis back on the team.
Whenever he thinks about his career, it isn't the sacks or the touchdown or other solo moments that Guyton reflects on. Being part of the team is what matters to him the most.
"At the end of the day, all you really have is your brothers," Guyton said.
"Especially on the D-Line, we look at ourselves as brothers. I have been part of something so big and so special for these four years."
Guyton's first steps towards being an accomplished athlete came on the blacktops of Philadelphia where he first started playing basketball. Hoops was his first passion and one that he played along with football throughout most of high school. Guyton started playing football after his family had moved from Philadelphia to Woodinville, Wash., just outside of Seattle. He took up the sport in his final year of junior high, playing both offensive and defensive line.
"In junior high, they never let me play D-Line, for some reason," Guyton said. "It was always what I liked. All throughout high school, offensive line was the work and defensive line was the play, so you kind of had to do the work on offense and then you got to go do what you wanted to do on defense."
He looked to players like Reggie White, Jevon Kearse, and Deacon Jones for inspiration. It wasn't just how they played their positions - it was how they lived the game of football that moved him.
"I see those clips on NFL Films, when they [White, Kearse, Jones] speak about football, it is their life," Guyton said. "I realized over these past few years, I have dedicated how many hours and days and years of my life to football? It really does define who you are after awhile. I have come to embrace that. It makes it much more of a passion for the game when you realize this is you. I am a football player. I think like a football player. When it comes to off-the-field issues and regular life, you can apply football mentality to life."
There is more than just football that drives this hopeful future NFL player. Guyton has a deep love of the outdoors that he found while growing up in Philly. As a youth, his father, Odell, taught him to love the outdoors. The family would go to Ontario, Canada, or pop over to the Schuylkill River to go fishing. A family trip up to Vermont yielded one of Guyton's proudest achievements.
"My prize catch is a bass that I caught in a little pond in Vermont when I was eight or nine," Guyton said. "It was a 24-inch, nine-pound largemouth [bass]. On the West Coast and in the South, they have much bigger fish, but on the East Coast, you don't find them too often. I have it mounted on the wall. I get to see that whenever I go home. It puts a smile back on my face."
It is not just the fish that makes Guyton smile when he is home.
"Family is the biggest part of my life. My family is my motivation. I wouldn't be anywhere without them - especially my parents."
Even while balancing the rigors of a football schedule, Guyton still finds time to fish, dropping a line off the Berkeley pier, resting and taking it all in. He also loves to go up Grizzly Peak on a nice day to catch the sun.
Far away from the limelight, at least until the next game.