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NFL Draft Player Profile: Trey McBride is Anything But a Typical Tight End

Colorado State tight end Trey McBride does football and family a little bit differently.

Emily Van Buskirk

One of Trey McBride’s parents is a Sheriff. The other one breeds golden retrievers.

Both are women.

Did you catch yourself assigning gender roles to each parent, possibly assuming the law enforcement agent was the father? You’re not alone.

It is an unfortunate assumption Trey and his brother, and former teammate, Toby have been dealing with their whole lives – from teachers, coaches and even media members.

“We would get those cold calls, like ‘hey I’m a coach from here, this and that, who are you, what do your parents do, what’s your mom do, what’s your dad do,’” shared Toby McBride. “And we would be like ‘hey, I’ve never met you but yeah, I don’t have a dad’ And their response was usually one of surprise.”

Questions and comments about their father became more common as their success in football continued, but the boys were always quick to explain that they were raised by sports and strong women.

“We definitely correct them, because it’s something to be proud of,” expressed Toby. “We don’t let it go and think ‘oh it’s ok that he thinks I have a dad.’ Same sex parents are something to be proud of.”

Jen and Kate McBride are proud of each of their kids. For the love and support they have given all four boys (Bryce, Toby, twins Trey and Dylan) and their little sister Taya. For the thousands of cookies Kate baked for teammates and friends and the countless games and matches both women attended despite neither knowing a whole lot about sports.

“I don’t understand football, I really don’t,” joked Kate McBride, who carried all five children to term. “I didn’t even know what a Division I athlete was. I knew nothing about any of that. You know when your kids are little and they say ‘I wanna be president when I grow up,’ you say ‘ok honey.’ So, when Trey said ‘maybe I’ll go for the NFL,’ I was like ‘ok honey.’ But now it’s becoming a reality and it’s just surreal.”

The McBride’s took it all in stride, Jen with her binoculars at games to study the action and Kate leaning on the crowd for direction on big plays. They learned the game their own way. But some things proved more of an obstacle.

“Recruiting - that was the biggest hump of having female parents who didn’t know anything about football,” remembered Toby. “That was the biggest challenge. I think my mom learned what a first down was when I was in college. She really did not know anything about football or how to get recruited and neither did I so we were just kind of going through it. Our head high school football coach helped a little but at the same time, coming from the small town of Fort Morgan, no one really knew how to get recruited anyways. I remember just sitting and emailing coaches, which didn’t work out at all.”

Luckily, Toby found a home nearby as a defensive lineman at Colorado State which prompted Trey to follow him to Fort Collins after an illustrious, albeit unusual, high school career.

Emily Van Buskirk

The best tight end in college football started out as a wrestler, rolling around with his brothers in a sticker-filled dirt patch but quickly realized his talents lay elsewhere, claiming he wasn’t “tough enough” for wrestling. His twin Dylan went on to wrestle at the collegiate level but Trey made a name for himself in other sports, setting school records in football, baseball and basketball at Fort Morgan High School.

Trey finished his high school football career with 89 catches for 1,737 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also recorded 310 tackles, 60 TFL, 14 sacks and seven interceptions as a defensive end. He set the school record for most home runs (23) and RBI’s (117) in baseball and the most points scored in basketball with 1,334.

But it was the tight end’s off-the-field work with his mom’s non-profit and close family bonds that eventually stood out to his college coaches at Colorado State.

“He’s just been raised so wonderfully; you can see their values in him,” said former Rams head coach Steve Addazio. “He’s truly a great person. He’s tough. I think he has a really wonderful personality. It’s hard not to like Trey McBride. He’s a great dude. And he’s real. He’s not pretentious. He’s just a regular dude.”

Emily Van Buskirk

A regular dude who finished the 2021 season with 90 catches for 1,121 yards, accounting for over a third of Colorado State’s passing yards, becoming the first unanimous All-American in school history and winning the John Mackey Award.

A regular dude who took 70 percent of his snaps as an attached tight end and still led all tight ends in receptions and yards and whose yardage total was fifth-most in a single-season in FBS history.

A regular dude with two moms, four adopted siblings, and three brothers who became the fathers none of them believed they needed.

“How we grew up, it was just us. It was just the boys,” explained Trey. “And that’s what we did, we played sports. We would go out front of our house and play Oklahoma drills, tackle each other, play baseball, play basketball - there were four boys so there was always someone to play with. I think ultimately, we just had each other. We still had those father figures with coaches, I got close with a lot of my coaches growing up but at the end of the day we didn’t really need that. We were like each other’s dads.”

Trey is projected to go no later than day two of the NFL Draft and many expect him to be the first tight end off the board. In doing so, Trey would make football history by being what is believed to be the first NFL draft pick with lesbian parents to go in the first or second round, as confirmed by the NFL.

Jen and Kate McBride don’t consider themselves different. They don’t see the big deal. And maybe it won’t feel like a seismic shift in the football world when Trey’s name gets called by an NFL team. But for someone, somewhere it will be an incredible moment - for gender norms, for stereotypes, for sexuality stigmas.

Because two strong women raised arguably the best and most versatile tight end in this draft class.