These area athletes buck the sports specialization trend

This is the age of specialization, where athletes play one sport at an early age and play it year-round. 

But there are a few anomalies. 

Take Hillsborough’s Erriyon Knighton, Seffner Christian’s Michael Trigg and Plant City’s Mario Williams. They divide their attention between two sports. 

Once the football season is over, those three trade in their pads and lace up their cleats or high-tops, displaying the skills that make them among the best multi-sport athletes in the bay area — and nation. 

Diversity in sports is rare at the grassroots and high school level. 

In college, it is nearly extinct.

That makes this trio stand out. 

Besides football, Knighton (track), Trigg (basketball) and Williams (baseball) also have offers from major colleges in their other sports. 

And all three plan to continue playing both at the next level. 

Meet the trio of multisport stars.

Erriyon Knighton

School: Hillsborough

Year: Junior

Sports: Football, track

College offers: Knighton has six offers in football, including Florida and FSU. The Seminoles are the program to offer in track, though Knighton has the opportunity to do both at every school that has already extended a football scholarship. 

Highlights: Rated a four-star recruit as a wide receiver according to 247 Sports’ composite list….Last year, he had seven receptions, four going for touchdowns….Last week, he won the 100 meter (10.29 seconds) and 200 meter (20.33) races at the AAU Junior Olympics to become the fastest high school sprinter in both events this year. 

Michael Trigg

School: Carrollwood Day

Year: Senior

Sports: Football, basketball

College offers: Last week, Trigg narrowed his college choices to LSU, Southern California and South Carolina. All three have offered in both sports. He has yet to make a decision. 

Highlights: Trigg is considered one of the top three tight ends in the country according to every major recruiting service….Last year, he finished with 82 catches for 1,232 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading Seffner Christian to the Class 2A state semifinals….Trigg also is one of the top basketball players in the state. Two years ago, he helped Seffner Christian reach the state final for the first time….In the offseason, Trigg transferred from Seffner Christian to Carrollwood Day. 

Mario Williams

School: Plant City

Year: Senior

Sports: Football, baseball

College offers: Williams has already committed to Oklahoma. He plans to play both sports with the Sooners. Highlights: Williams was rated as the top receiver in the country by ESPN and is listed as a five-star recruit by Rivals….As a wideout, Williams has put up impressive numbers, gaining more than 700 yards and recording at least nine touchdown receptions in each of his first three seasons with the Raiders. Better still, he did that while catching passes from two different starting quarterbacks….In baseball, Williams primarily plays in the outfield and helped Plant City win a state title in 2019….In three years as a varsity, Williams has steadily improved as a hitter. This past season was his best yet with a .316 average to go along with five RBIs and a homer in an abbreviated seven-game schedule….Williams also pitches. His role on the mound is expected to increase if he decides to stay for his entire senior year rather than graduate early.