PROVO — Trent Trammell’s football career at BYU couldn’t have started out much worse.
In his very first practice last year, the San Francisco City College transfer tore his ACL. Just like that, he was lost for the entire season.
That would be a tough pill for anyone to swallow, but perhaps particularly so for a first-year player in a completely new and unusual environment.
“I was overall depressed because I was running, jumping, being athletic my whole life, and once that was taken away from me there was really nothing for me to do,” Trammell said.
Instead of pouting, or even quitting, Trammell began the arduous rehab process while watching from the sidelines for almost an entire year.
“It’s a really hard offseason because he’s away from home and the thing he loves is to play football. When that was taken away because of his injury, you have to adapt in a lot of different ways,” said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. “So the team family is here, but a lot of time guys that are hurt feel outside of that because they’re not contributing. So it’s just one other thing he had to deal with.”
Fortunately for Trammell, he found great support from teammates — particularly fellow cornerbacks Jordan Johnson and Robertson Daniel.
"Those guys are my brothers and they help me out a lot," Trammell said.
Of course, he also received a lot of support from his own family back home.
“They’re counting on me back home, so I got to take care of business while I’m out here so I can get to the next level,” he said.
Trammell's rehab went well and he was ready to hit the field again toward the end of last season, but remained on the sidelines until this spring.
When he finally rejoined practices the first week of March, he did so with some swagger and with some new perspective.
“After I got through the rehab and everything, I became a better person. I became a more confident person, a more positive person, and now I feel I can do anything. There’s nothing I can’t get through,” Trammell said.
Trammell has seen almost exclusive reps with the first-team defense so far this spring and has impressed coaches with his work ethic, attitude and athletic upside.
“(He’s) really doing a nice job of coverage,” Mendenhall said. “We saw just a glimpse of him a year ago, and then he got hurt, but between Trent, Daniel and then Jordan Johnson when he gets back — that’s a pretty good three upperclassmen in the secondary. And I’m excited about that.”
Add veteran safety Craig Bills to the mix in the secondary, and the group is brimming with confidence.
“I think this year’s secondary is going to bring a swagger to the team,” Trammell said. “When we come out there you know we’re going to have it locked down, so there’s nothing they need to worry about. I think from an athletic standpoint that we’re going to be strong back there.”
Trammell knows the secondary is just one part of the overall defensive equation, but he has been very impressed with those playing in front of him. Perhaps the most noticeable help is from twin tower outside linebackers Alani Fua (6-5) and Bronson Kaufusi (6-7.)
Trammell's eyes light up when asked about the help both players' length and range bring to him in his own coverage assignments. “It’s like love at first sight. It’s perfect,” Trammell said of the coverage help.
As for his own coverage assignments, coaches say more man coverages will be in store should Trammell and his fellow corners continue to progress. Trammell is determined to meet his coaches' expectations and continue improving while forming what he believes will be a very good defensive unit.
“I think we’re destined for something great this year,” he said.
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