Tyler Trent’s younger brother to play football for Purdue


It’s certainly fitting that Carmel High School senior offensive lineman Ethan Trent will play for Purdue University.

Ethan’s brother, Tyler Trent, drew national attention as a Purdue superfan who inspired the Boilermakers. Tyler died at age 20 on Jan. 1, 2019, from osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. 

“It was emotional because of how proud he would have been of me,” said Ethan, who accepted a preferred walk-on spot from Purdue Dec. 21. 

Former Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, who left for the University of Louisville job, had previously told Ethan there was a preferred walk-on spot for him. Ethan met with new coach Ryan Walters after Walters was hired Dec. 13.

CIC COM 0103 Ethan Trent 4
From left, Josh Seals, Kelly Trent, Mitch Daniels, Tony Trent, Blake Trent, Ethan Trent and Sean English in September 2019 when the Tyler Trent Student Gate was dedicated. (Photos courtesy of Kelly Trent)

“It was really a good first impression. He shook my hand and told me I still had a spot on the team, and he wants me to play for him,” Ethan said. “That meant the world to me.”

Ethan discussed the offer with his family and decided to decommit from Indiana State University, a Football Championship Subdivision team. Ethan had accepted a scholarship offer from ISU.

“We determined it was the best move for me,” Ethan said.

Ethan said it was a tough decision because he had a lot of respect for ISU head coach Curt Mallory.

Ethan also wrestled and played rugby, but he said football has always been his main sport.

“I fell in love with it,” he said. “It’s a really special game.”

Ethan was 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds as a freshman. But he grew during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now 6-2 1/2 and 275 pounds.

“Quarantine hit and I really took advantage of it,” Ethan said. “I worked and grinded throughout quarantine, and even after that. I got really strong.”

CIC COM 0103 Ethan Trent 5
Carmel High School senior Ethan Trent, who played center for the football team, has a tattoo of his late brother’s initials on his wrist so he sees it when he snaps the ball.

Ethan was a center for CHS as a senior. He played center and tackle as a junior.

Tyler drew national attention when he was stricken with cancer. He had to withdraw from Purdue in the fall semester of 2018 when the cancer returned. But he made it to Purdue’s home game against No. 2 Ohio State on Oct. 20, 2018. As Tyler had predicted, Purdue won 49-20 and was interviewed during the game. His story had been featured earlier in the day on “College Gameday.”

Even before Tyler attended Purdue, his family members were devoted Boilermakers fans.

“My dad went to Purdue, so we always grew up Purdue fans,” Ethan said.

Ethan was named to the Indiana Football Coaches Association’s Top 50 all-state team.

Ethan will be joined at Purdue by two CHS seniors, safety Winston Berglund and linebacker Will Heldt.

“I got two of my really good buddies going in with me, so it’s going to be great,” he said.