Already with his degree from Auburn, Trotter decided to give up his last year of eligibility with the Tigers and pursue his dream of playing professional football. With only one shot the former Briarwood Christian standout didn't sit around and wait on teams to come to him, instead he started working for his goal.
Working out at D1 Nashville, a training facility co-owned by Peyton Manning, Trotter said he made some strides forward in his game and also made some good contacts in football that should help him in the coming months.
"It has been fun, but at the same time it has been a lot of work," Trotter said. "I was in Nashville for about two months training at the D1 up there with some guys that do combine training. There were about 15 of us training there the whole time.
"After there I went to the Super Regional Combine in Detroit. I got invited to that. It was really the last thing I've been to. Since then I have been traveling around doing different workouts for CFL teams and just training on my own."
While Trotter's game has improved since the bowl win, the biggest difference for the quarterback is physically. Working hard to get bigger and stronger, Trotter said he's made a big change in his body and he hopes it pays off for him when the time comes.
"After a season you're probably going to be at your worst physically," Trotter said. "You're just beat down after the season. The workouts aren't the same either during the year. They're not quite as hard, so you're not getting much bigger. When first got to D1 I probably weighed 205-207. When I weighed in at Detroit I was 220, so I've definitely gotten bigger and stronger in those two months."
Trotter celebrates a touchdown with Onterio McCalebb
In Nashville, Trotter had the opportunity to train with many players who were working to get better for the combine and NFL Draft. He said he was also fortunate enough to work with former NFL quarterback Neil O'Donnell. He said that helped him tremendously because, much like Auburn's quarterbacks this spring, taking snaps from under the center and working on his three-step, five-step, and seven-step drops needed plenty of practice time.
"It's just different," Trotter said. "It's different footwork that you have to rep a lot and get used to so really you're not having to think about it. If you're thinking about having to take your drops then you're already behind because you've got to have your mind on so many things that are more important.
"You have to be reading the defense to know where to go with the ball and make your reads and go to your check-downs or whatever you've got to do," he added. "If you're thinking about little things like you're drop then you're already beat."
Working hard is something that has always been there for Trotter. Fighting through early injuries, Trotter finally worked his way into the starting role heading into the 2011 season. Even though he was replaced during the season by Clint Moseley, Trotter's numbers ended up being solid for the Tigers. Playing in eight games he completed 55.1 percent of his passes for 1,184 yards and 11 touchdowns with six interceptions.
The highlight of the season and his career came in his last game for Auburn. Coming off the bench when Moseley was injured against Virginia, Trotter completed 11-18 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tigers to a big 43-24 victory. Looking back on his time on the Plains, Trotter said so much stands out to him that it's hard to narrow it down to a simple thought or two.
"People always say you learn a lot playing football," Trotter said. "I definitely have at Auburn. It has been tough. It's like a job. You learn a lot about hard work and perseverance and all those things that come with football at this level. Obviously there were a lot of great memories and great wins like the National Championship and the Outback Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
"This past season getting to start and then coming back in to finish the Chick-fil-A Bowl, those are great memories. I wouldn't trade them for the world. I love Auburn and loved the opportunities I've gotten while I was here. I wouldn't trade it for anything."
With his Auburn career behind him, Trotter is hoping to get one more shot to prove that he can play the game of football at the highest of levels. This weekend he'll get that chance as he joins the St. Louis Rams for a rookie mini-camp through Sunday. Looking forward to showing what he can do, Trotter said that's all he's been hoping for is a chance.
"I'm just looking for a shot," Trotter said. "I can't predict the future and what's going to happen. I had talked with a bunch of teams, but at the end of the day I've got to get on with a team and be able to make it through camp and try to make a roster spot. That's the main goal. Just getting to camp isn't the end goal. It's great and it's an opportunity, but I have to capitalize on that opportunity."