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Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Marvin Harrison Jr. set the standard at St. Joe's Prep. Up next, the NFL.

St. Joe's Prep alumni Marvin Harrison Jr., Jeremiah Trotter Jr. await their fates in 2024 NFL Draft
St. Joe's Prep alumni Marvin Harrison Jr., Jeremiah Trotter Jr. await their fates in 2024 NFL Draft 03:25

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The names Jeremiah Trotter and Marvin Harrison are considered NFL royalty by many football fans. Trotter is in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame and Harrison is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Now, their sons are setting out to create their own legacies in the league after setting a new standard at their alma mater, St. Joseph's Preparatory School in North Philadelphia.

And the first step to carving their own paths in professional football is the 2024 NFL Draft.

"Marvin and Jeremiah are at the top of that list."

It can be hard to stand out at St. Joe's Prep unless you're Marvin Harrison Jr. or Jeremiah Trotter Jr., who each won multiple PIAA state championships during their record-setting high school careers.  

They've since starred at the college level, Harrison at Ohio State University and Trotter at Clemson University. But those who knew them in high school said it's not just their famous names that set them apart.

"Of all the students I've taught, the thousands I've taught, who comes to mind when I think of the most disciplined, the most dedicated, the most consistent, the most focused?" Susie Cook, an English teacher at St. Joe's Prep, said. "Marvin and Jeremiah are at the top of that list."

Cook taught both Trotter and Harrison during the 2019-2020 school year. She said they made a mark on her that she'll never forget. She even gave CBS News Philadelphia the scouting report on their high school writing skills.

"Marvin had difficulties with starting too many sentences with conjunctions. Jeremiah's limitations in his writing game involved comma splices and sentence fragments," Cook said. "And so they were totally open to my feedback all the time, and that would be outside of class. So these weren't students who had any kind of attitude about constructive criticism."

Raising the bar for St. Joe's Prep

That humility and hard work translated to unprecedented success on the football field, where St. Joe's head coach Tim Roken said Trotter Jr. and Harrison Jr. raised the bar for the entire program.

"I think it allows young men within this school, within this program, to understand, 'Hey, their dreams can be accomplished if they put in the hard work, stay disciplined, and follow that process,'" Roken said.

Omillio Agard was a freshman defensive back at St. Joe's Prep when Harrison Jr. was a senior. Agard, who has committed to play college football at the University of Wisconsin, didn't let the age and talent gap stop him from following Harrison all over the field, gaining confidence while trying to keep up and cover him.

Ohio State v Wisconsin
MADISON, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 28: Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes catches a 19 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. Getty Images

"I could never stop Marv, like never. I never got even one rep on him," Agard said. "It showed me that if I can go against him in practice and have the confidence to go and step in front of him, I could do it with anybody. So it has already boosted my confidence for the rest of my career."

"When you play linebacker in this program, you want to play like a Trotter, I would say," said Anthony Sacca, a senior linebacker at St. Joe's Prep who will play at Notre Dame next year.

The "epitome" of playing at St. Joe's Prep

Sacca didn't get to play with Trotter Jr. or Harrison Jr., but he said their records and reputations make them the gold standard for future players at The Prep.

"I would probably describe them as the epitome of what it means to be a St. Joe's Prep football player," Sacca said. "I mean, not only what they did on the field, but you could ask anybody in the building. They were very hard-working, very well-spoken. I mean, they were just an all-around great, great person. And even off the field, they were awesome."

Draft Sons Football
FILE - Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (54) reacts during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. wears his dad's No. 54, plays the same position and celebrates sacks and big tackles with the same signature axe swing. Jacob Kupferman/AP

Watch out for Harrison Jr. and Trotter Jr. during this year's NFL draft.

Harrison Jr. is expected to be selected early in the first round - CBS Sports has him mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4. But Trotter is projected as a third or fourth-round pick and a lot of Eagles fans would welcome another Trotter linebacker in the midnight green.

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