Traylor finally has priorities straight

CLEMSON – After flying under the radar for his first three years at Clemson, Drew Traylor has a new lease on his football career with the Tigers.

He arrived to Tigertown as a three-star defensive end from Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham, Ala. Traylor was forced to redshirt during his freshman season because of a broken ankle.

"I kind of felt isolated. I was over there in the [weight] yard while everybody else was practicing and getting to know each other," he said. "It was kind of hard being away from home for the first time. It was something I had to get used to, but it's paid off."

Traylor admitted after Thursday's practice that he didn't always have the best football focus.

"When I got up here, I'm not going to lie, I was distracted. I didn't set my priorities straight. When I had a change of positions, it was a change of mindset," he said.

For the 2009 season, Traylor was moved to tight end. He sat behind Michael Palmer, Dwayne Allen, Chad Diehl, Durrell Barry and Rendrick Taylor last season and played seven snaps—the first of his career.

So far this fall, Traylor has upped his value as a tight end and is looking at a significant boost playing time.

The switch hasn't always gone so smoothly.

"Defensive and offensive mindsets are completely different," Traylor said. "Defense, you can go balls to the wall. You don't have to have perfect technique and you can recover and make plays. Offense, you have to be thinking the whole time. The play is designed around each person doing their job. It was a different mindset."

He played some tight end in high school, but that didn't help him learn the plays at Clemson, which he said was the toughest part of making the move.

"When I first made the switch, I was engulfed in the playbook. I had no idea what was going on," Traylor said.

His confidence continues to grow with each day. And that's just what he needs.

"That was one of the things when I first came up here. I wasn't as confident. I was more timid in my play-style," he said. "In going against the ones and twos and seeing that I can block these guys, I can run these routes and get open, it helps out a lot."

CUTigers.com Top Stories