Holy Spirit High School two-sport standout Trevor Cohen is only a sophomore but already has chosen which sport and where he’ll play in college: baseball at Rutgers University.
The 16-year-old Brigantine resident committed last week to attend Rutgers and play for the Scarlet Knights’ NCAA Division I program. He’ll receive a partial (70%) athletic scholarship.
For Holy Spirit, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Cohen is a center fielder and a pitcher.
“I’ve thought about it long and hard,” Cohen said of his early college decision. “Rutgers is what I’m looking for in a school. I wanted to go to a school close to home. It checked off all the things I wanted. I called (Rutgers baseball) coach (Steve) Owens and told him I’m in.
“I’m pretty excited about playing for Rutgers in the Big Ten (Conference). There’s a lot of travel, and they play really good teams. A lot of pro scouts are watching the Big Ten.”
Cohen also quarterbacked the Spartans’ football team to a 38-0 win over rival St. Joseph on Dec. 8 at Rutgers in the state Non-Public II championship game.
“I played football there, and I really liked the school,” Cohen said. “When the quarantine is over, I intend to go there and see the rest of (the campus).”
Taking baseball over football was a clear choice for Cohen.
“I’d love to play college football, and I didn’t get the looks (from college recruiters) like I had in baseball,” he said. “I’ve played both all my life. I’ll play both throughout high school. My arm gets a lot stronger for football, and it transfers over to baseball.”
Cohen said he is primarily a center fielder rather than a pitcher.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I fly around and make plays. That’s my favorite part about it.”
Cohen also visited Boston College and talked to several other schools. He won’t sign a national letter of intent until his senior year.
The Rutgers baseball team was 6-9 this spring before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the college season. In their final game, March 10, the Scarlet Knights beat Monmouth 5-2. Freshman first baseman Jordan Sweeney (Egg Harbor Township) played in 12 games for Rutgers this season and batted .438 (7-16).
Steve Normane, the Holy Spirit baseball coach and athletic director, and Jason Downey, the coach last year, are both former Rutgers players.
Normane coached the Spartans previously, and Downey was his assistant from 2014-17. Normane graduated from Rutgers in 2003, Downey in 2008.
“We had the team out (practicing) for a week before the shutdown, and Trevor is the most talented sophomore I’ve ever coached,” said Normane. “His upside is incredible. He has foot speed, bat speed, and he’s got a ton of confidence from playing quarterback in the fall. He knows the game (baseball). He runs down balls in the outfield. He’s an intelligent player and highly skilled. He’s ready for the mound when you need him.”
Cohen hit .290 (16-55) for Holy Spirit last year as a freshman, with five doubles, 15 RBIs and seven stolen bases. The Spartans were 15-8 and reached the South Jersey Non-Public B semifinals.
“Trevor is a great kid from a great family,” Downey said. “He has a laid-back demeanor, but he kicks it up for both baseball and football. He had good stats last year, and that was as a freshman against a pretty strong schedule. His potential is through the roof.”
Cohen hasn’t yet decided on a college major.