Now it’s time to make big plays and step up and be a dude. ... This is my last year and if I want to go on to the next level I have to have a big year. —Jonah Trinnaman
PROVO — On BYU's first play from scrimmage against Toledo last fall, heralded junior college transfer Jonah Trinnaman used his superior speed to zoom past the Rockets' secondary en route to a 75-yard touchdown catch. It was quite the start and left fans jubilant and excited for more, with the feeling Trinnaman was poised to break out.
The Cougars went on to show a lot of offense against Toledo that night — eventually racking up 586 yards and seven touchdowns en route to a thrilling 55-53 win. Trinnaman's final stats for the night? That would be the one catch for 75 yards, as he wasn't heard from again.
Trinnaman's performance against Toledo largely told much of the story of his first season at BYU. You'd see glimpses of his legitimate sub 4.4 40-speed coupled with a 6-foot, 190-pound frame, but not enough for fans, coaches — and most of all — for Trinnaman himself.
Heading into his final year at BYU, the former American Fork star hopes to improve upon the 28 receptions and 321 receiving yards he achieved in 2016. His touchdown against Toledo was his lone score.
“Last year it was about feeling it out with where I fit on the team,” Trinnaman said. “But now it’s time to make big plays and step up and be a dude. ... This is my last year and if I want to go on to the next level I have to have a big year.”
Trinnaman's year began in earnest during the spring practice session. With the frustrations of last year's inconsistency and a surprising lack of deep-ball catches, he was determined to have a big spring, although the result left him unsatisfied, much like his 2016 season.
His position coach, Ben Cahoon, was also dissatisfied with what he saw from his speedster and gave him a pointed challenge entering the offseason.
“He was like, ‘We really need your speed and we really need you to step up and be a big player,’” Trinnaman said.
With regards to the specifics of what Trinnaman was challenged with, Cahoon related, “He was challenged to catch a thousand deep balls. That comes out to about 55 a day and he knows and we’ll see. I’m really excited to see if those efforts happened and if they pay off because he’s a special kid.”
According to Trinnaman, he's largely met Cahoon's challenge and has worked with starting quarterback Tanner Mangum earnestly throughout the late spring and summer months. While the reps have worked to sharpen each other's skills, the real benefit, hopefully, will come later.
“I have all the tools to do it, it’s just working on my confidence,” Trinnaman said. “I’m definitely working on everything else, but definitely it’s about confidence — that’s what I’m working on.”
Trinnaman has also maintained his speed and may have even worked to improve it, as evidenced by his reported recent 4.32 in the 40. Trinnaman asserts the time is accurate, to which Cahoon certainly approves and hopes to see made relevant on the field.
“The level which you can take advantage of that (and) maximize that is dependent on the kids themselves and how willing they are to put the time in,” Cahoon said. “You can’t be a deep threat if you can’t connect.”
Trinnaman believes he's put in the work necessary to become the deep threat everyone involved envisioned when he first signed with the Cougars out of Snow College. If things go according to plan, Trinnaman's 75-yard touchdown haul against Toledo will become more than just an isolated incident.
"I'm excited and believe we'll be going deep a lot more this year. I'm hoping for a lot more of it this year," Trinnaman said.