Lanett’s Bridges ties state record for interceptions, hungry for more

Published 9:02 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

LANETT — He’s one of the top high school safeties in America.

The 6-foot-3, 187-pound athlete can cover any side of the field in a matter of seconds. Last summer, he improved his 40-yard dash time to a 4.51.

The four-star recruit had an offer from nearly every major school, and he decided to take his talents to the University of Oregon.

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His name is Trikweze Bridges, and you probably wouldn’t know how accomplished he was if you didn’t follow Lanett or high school football.

“He’s a very humble young man,” Lanett defensive coordinator Charlie Williams said. “A guy in the spotlight like him, you couldn’t tell. If you didn’t know Trikweze, if you just walked in the room, and you said that you had an Oregon commit, a four-star prospect in the room, you wouldn’t think Trikweze because he’s just so humble.”

This season, Bridges has lived up to all of his on-field expectations. He has tied the all-time state career record for interceptions with No. 36 coming during last Friday’s first round win against Florala. He also has the state career all-time record for pick six’s with a total of 13 in his time at Lanett.

“It’s an honor because this is all I have been working for,” Bridges said. “It’s another goal that I have reached, and feels good to have done that. It shows that my work ethic has been paying off.”

Williams describes Bridges as a bookworm off the field, and a workhorse on the field. Lanett head football coach Clifford Story, Jr. has previously said how proud he’s been of Bridges coming into high school as a “skinny” freshman, and growing into one of the nation’s top prospects as a senior.

Football is in Bridges’ bloodlines. His father played for Florida A&M, his grandfather is in the Troy Hall of Fame and played in the NFL, one of his cousins has spent time in the NFL and Marlon Bridges, another cousin, was picked as a preseason All-American this season playing at Jacksonville State University.

One day, Bridges hopes to play on Sundays himself.

“I’ve just been around football players,” he said. “I hear them talking about how it is to be that guy in the NFL. To be an NFL player, it would give me a chance to see it with my own eyes.”

Over the last few years, Bridges has been able to build a relationship with one of the NFL’s current big stars in Carolina Panthers quarterback and Auburn icon Cam Newton. Bridges was a part of Newton’s 7-on-7 high school team, and the star professional even brought Bridges on the field during warm-ups during this year’s game in Atlanta against the Falcons.

“He speaks a lot about how it doesn’t take a lot to be special,” Bridges said. “That’s something that he always preaches. He’s a great guy, he’s great off the field, he helps us with everything, and he motivates us to do right. We will be with him, and he’ll show us how it looks to be a superstar, and how to be a normal guy as well. He’s a great guy to be around, and he impacted my life a lot.”

If and when Bridges officially breaks the state record for career interceptions, he said that while it means that he did a job well done, he still wants to put the record out of reach for future players to break it. Instead of staying in the south to play for one of the SEC schools that offered him, Bridges committed to play in the northwest region of the United States. He said he decided to go west because of the coaching staff, and the fact that the ball is thrown a lot in the Pac-12, giving him plenty of opportunities to grab more interceptions on the next level.