Trautwein Ready for Another Senior Year

HOOVER, Ala. -- Last season was supposed to be something special for Phil Trautwein. The big tackle was the best offensive lineman from Florida's defending National Champs and was poised to lead that unit as a true senior. But things went terribly wrong for the New Jersey native.

Trautwein suffered one of the most annoying injuries in sports, a stress fracture to his foot and ended up missing the entire season. Fortunately he was not redshirted in his first season as a Gator (2004) so he was able to return as a fifth year senior. That wasn't certain right away, but after thinking it over Trautwein realized he had to re-establish himself as a pro prospect and his second senior year gives him a chance to do just that.

As a result Trautwein makes the Florida front wall even better than it was last year when it paved the way for 42.5 points a game in '07 with more than 200 yards rushing and 257 passing. Trautwein returns to his left tackle spot with Jason Watkins returning to the right side. Add in the Pouncey twins and pre-season All-SEC pick Jim Tartt on the inside and this line could be one of the best in recent Gator history.

Trautwein represented the Gators here at SEC Media Days, which was a little unusual in that Florida was the only SEC team to bring two offensive players to the annual event. Still, he came across as he normally does; a quiet, determined guy without a ton to say. However he did talk about two significant things: the need for the '08 team to develop better chemistry and his attitude about having to sit and watch throughout the last season.

Trautwein on watching last season ----- "It was hard watching. It was okay when we won, but when we lost it goes without saying it was really tough. But everything happens for a reason and I'm happy to be back."

Trautwein on trying to build chemistry ----- "That's what we've been working on all off-season, the chemistry. I think we're so much closer. We've had another year. This whole off-season we're been getting together – the offensive and defensive lines – and having people over to our houses and things like going bowling and playing paint ball. You know, just talking and spending time getting to know each other better."

Trautwein did point out the Gators have tremendous weapons on offense and tabbed Chris Rainey and Carlos Dunlap as stars of the future.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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