The days of getting up before 5 a.m. for lifting are over for Michael Trani and the La Mirada (Calif.) High School football team, but that doesn't mean the work has stopped.
"No, not anymore," Trani laughs. "Conventus ended. It made our team way stronger than it ever was before. That's kind of the point of it. Right now, in spring ball, we're still doing things to be a family, one big unit. That's how great teams are made, is through the hard work that you all put in, and becoming a family."
Last week, Trani had a visitor in the stands, as California offensive line coach Zach Yenser tripped down to watch the three-star offensive lineman get nasty.
Later, Trani called Yenser and the two spoke, whetting his appetite for a Bears offer that much more.
"We got to know each other and just talked. He talked about the school and where I stand and stuff like that," says Trani, who is said to be one of Yenser's favorites among the un-offered offensive linemen. "I don't know, really, on where I am for an offer, but I know that he said that he liked me, and that he'll keep looking and that I'm still up there on the board."
Trani is rated as a center, but prides himself in being able to play all over the line, something he and the rest of the Gauchos' offensive front have been working on through spring.
"Really, it's just mental reps," Trani says. "When it comes to us practicing, we go in offense periods, when we have our individual time, we'll set up, and as he goes through, everybody should be paying attention, because you can be switched over to quick tackle and then switched back to strong tackle, put down to center, put down at guard, and you've got to know -- you're expected to know -- that position, how to make blocks, and if the defense does something, how to block that. That's how we learn about it."
Playing under a former Purdue lineman in Mike Cardona has given Trani a bit of a taste for what it would be like to play under Yenser, who last put the pads on in 2006 for Troy.
"Coach Cardona, our O-line coach, he was a lineman at La Mirada, and he also played O-line at Purdue, so I'm sure it wouldn't be that much different," Trani says. It's great playing under the coaches that I play for right now, because they're just great. They're buying in to everything that they say, and they listen to us, they care about us, and they're just, 100-percent, on the field, doing whatever they can to become better football players, and better men."
Trani Gets a Visit
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