Trahan Looking To Make An Impact

Redshirt freshman Patrick Trahan talks about having the chance to work with the first team defense.

Auburn, Ala.--When Patrick Trahan was recruited out of St. Augustine High in New Orleans he played safety and that's where he started his career at Auburn. It was always obvious though to anyone who watched him play that Trahan's future was at linebacker for the Tigers.

Exactly one year ago the 6-2, 217 Trahan made the move from safety to linebacker at the insistence of then position Coach Joe Whitt. Not a big fan of the move to begin with, Trahan has adapted well in the last 12 months and currently stands number two on the depth chart at strongside linebacker behind Will Herring.

With Herring nursing a sore hamstring that has thrust Trahan into the spotlight at the position under the watchful eye of first-year linebacker coach James Willis. Known for being a player who can make big plays for the defense, Trahan has continued that trend and Willis says now they are working with him to become more consistent.

"The thing with him is that we've got to get him more reps so he's comfortable with his assignments," Willis says. "He's a playmaker and can find a way to get to the ball. Now we've got to make sure he can do everything within the framework of the defense. That way we'll be a better defense."

Trahan has some skills that are reminscent of former Tiger player Karlos Dansby when he was a young player at Auburn.

He continued to make plays Friday as the Tigers had their second scrimmage of the preseason. Taking over first team reps when Herring left the practice with a tight hamstring, Trahan did what he does best. Trahan says he believed he showed the coaches what he's capable of when given the chance.

"In the scrimmage I had a few plays in the beginning where it was a little different from practice," Trahan says. "I adjusted and started making a couple of big plays. When Will went down I went with the first team and made a few big plays. I think I gave coach a feeling that he could trust me and put me in with first-team situations.

"I had moved up to second and a lot of people are injured," he adds. "I'm hurt but not injured. You just have to fight through it. It's hard because we've been going hard every day. We're trying to build up a physical mindset. Because of that people have been getting hurt. Some people have been forced to sit down for some practices and I'm just trying to make some noise."

Learning on the run like everyone else on the defense in the first year of Will Muschamp's system that is different than what David Gibbs taught last season, Trahan says that so far he's feeling good about his knowledge of the defense. He says one reason for that is because everyone is learning on the same timetable.

"This is the first year for everybody in this defense," Trahan says. "I don't have any game-time experience, but as far as practice it's the same defense. Pretty much every rep somebody in front of me got, I got the same rep. As far as that it's not really a big deal. When it gets in a game I haven't been in a game in front of 90,000 people. I'll just take it as it comes and see how it goes."

Trahan is shown on campus during the voluntary summer workouts.

With less than two weeks until Washington State comes to town for the season opener Trahan is one of the players who is being counted on to provide solid depth for the Tigers at linebacker due to the suspensions of Kevin Sears and Tray Blackmon. That's something that doesn't concern Trahan in the least. He says he'll just keep doing what he's been doing and try to do his part when called upon.

"I just want to go in there the whole time and keep the same mindset," Trahan says. "When I'm playing second team I want to go hard. Then I want to bring that second team to the first team and keep on chugging. Maybe that will help me make a name and get a spot somewhere on the defense. I want to make an impact and not be a liability on defense when I come in to replace Will."

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