May 31, 2014
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Track and Field program has signed Trumaine Jefferson for the 2014-15 season, announced head coach Leroy Burrell Friday afternoon.
"We are very excited to have signed Trumaine today," Burrell said. "He is a tremendous talent who will be productive in several areas. He's one of the best prep long jumpers, a developing high jumper and can duty on both relays, especially the 4x4. I don't think we have had a more multi-talented athlete in our program in my time here. He has all the intangibles that can help make our program great."
Jefferson is a jump and sprints athlete from Conroe, Texas, where he ran for head coach Dennis Muehlstein at Oak Ridge High School. He jumped 24'-1.25" to be crowned the State Long Jump Champion and is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation. He has also claimed the district championships in the 200-meter dash and the high jump and was a member of the 4x100m and the 4x400m relay teams.
"He is an outstanding student and has a great family that has supported him in his transition from basketball to track. I would also like to thank my staff for the outstanding work they did recruiting Trumaine and the staff at Conroe Oak Ridge especially Coach Muehlstein for the opportunity to recruit Trumaine," Burrell said.
He's not an ordinary track athlete. Jefferson began track and field just two years ago. Muehlstein said that he finally convinced Jefferson to try the long jump after several meets into his senior season. Jefferson leaped 24'-7" at the district meet which sparked instant interest from more than 20 schools.
Muehlstein sat down with Jefferson to narrow down the schools so it wouldn't overwhelm him. They decided on Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU and Houston. Ultimately, Jefferson decided Houston was the best fit for him and the opportunity to work with greats like nine-time Olympic gold medalist and assistant coach Carl Lewis.
"I am looking forward to working with another great talent," said Lewis. "He has the tools to go all the way and I'm excited about our jumpers for the future."