PROVO — BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed the worst after his team's practice Wednesday: JUCO transfer cornerback Trent Trammell has a torn ACL and is likely done for the year.
Trammell fell to the ground during non-contact drills on the first day of camp Monday and was immediately tended to by trainers before limping off the field under his own power. Unable to complete his first practice in a BYU uniform, Trammell was devastated.
“We don’t believe he has a chance to play this year, so (he’ll take) a redshirt and play the following year,” Mendenhall said. “He’s a fantastic kid and it was hard for all of us to watch that injury. ... He just planted in the turf, knee shifted around him and it’s just really hard to see.”
Trammell will undergo surgery March 14 and has a long and arduous recovery ahead.
Trammell was seeing reps with the first team at boundary corner and was assumed by most to be the eventual starter at the position. In just a short time he had made a big impression on both coaches and players regarding his attitude and dedication to the program.
“Trent came in and really embraced the program, embraced the scheme, bought into who we are and what we do on defense and was working really hard,” said senior defensive back Mike Hague. “It’s unfortunate and it’s a tragedy actually. That’s how we feel about it.”
Despite his injury Trammell was present during every drill Wednesday, helping out where he could with his position group. Since arriving at BYU he’s become a quick study — intent on learning the system fast and, in turn, helping others learn it around him.
“He had is iPad out and he looked like a coach today,” Hague said. “It’s amazing to see a guy that vocal in meetings. Our defense is a complex system. It’s a language and to see a guy already learning it, understanding it he’s bought in. And there’s not many guys who would act the way he has after being injured, and we’re proud of him for that and I respect him a lot.”
As is typically the case at BYU, cornerback is a thin position talent-wise, which makes Trammell’s injury all the more devastating potentially. Coaches will look at players like Trevor Bateman, Cameron Comer, Skye PoVey and Sam Lee, who will arrive in fall, to fill the boundary spot, but it’s likely going to rest on Hague.
Hague was granted a medical redshirt after last season and is well-honed in the way BYU does things defensively. Coaches were depending on him playing a sort of utility role as a backup at three of the defensive back positions and as the team’s nickel back. But it’s likely that he’ll be logging most of his time at boundary corner now.
“When Trent went down it sort of solidified the role that I would play more boundary which I‘m OK with,” Hague said. “I know how to play it. It’s definitely a different game than playing nickel and free (safety.)”
Hague signed with BYU back in 2006, but after a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a redshirt year he’s still with the program and couldn’t be more excited.
“We were the No. 3 defense last year and you see Kyle (Van Noy) coming back and our defense is something special,” Hague said. “I wouldn’t be coming back if I didn’t think we could play in a BCS game and be the best defense in the country. I think our scheme is great. I think our athletes are great. And I think the unity we have on our defense is something special.”