Trenton Charles wants to play for a Power Five college football program. He wants to play under the lights at Arizona, Northwestern or TCU — all of whom offered him a scholarship — and compete against the best players in the country.
He also wants a degree from Yale.
Charles is a three-star prospect in the 2018 class. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder from Scotlandville Magnet School in Baton Rouge is the 46th-ranked running back in the nation (247Sports), and like the 45 running backs ranked above him, carries a truckload of offers. While Arizona, Northwestern and TCU may stick out to 99 percent of fans — and peer recruits — Charles is part of the one percent fixated on four other offers: Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale.
"You can make to the league from anywhere. Don't just think about the next 3-4 years," Charles told HERO Sports. "Cause one day you're going to have hang them cleats up. And it may be earlier than you think. Solidify your future or end up a has-been."
When Charles hangs them up, he'll be hanging them next to a degree from Yale. He committed to the Bulldogs on July 13 when visiting the New Haven, Conn., campus.
"Yale is one of the top schools in the world," he said. "A degree from Yale holds weight. Simple as that."
Still, it wasn't easy picking the Ivy League over the Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12. Charles, also a track star who runs a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, says passing on "big-time football against big-time competition" was an agonizingly difficult decision.
Charles' status as the highest-ranked 2018 Ivy League commit lasted all of 12 days. On July 25, four-star quarterback Brevin White picked Princeton over Tennessee, Washington and four other Power Five schools.
"I get to fulfill my dream of playing college football while getting to be at one of the top universities in the world," White tweeted. "…I have found my home for the next chapter of my life."
If Charles and White sign with Yale and Princeton, respectively, they will be each program's highest-ranked signee of the recruiting era.
Here's a look at the Bulldogs' future playmaker: