TE Andrew Trainer Found His Fit at Illinois

Coaching changes often lead to scheme changes, and that was one of the big reasons that Alexandria (VA) tight end Andrew Trainer, a former Virginia commit, reopened his recruitment and found his way to Illinois.

This offseason, former Virginia head coach Mike London was relieved of his duties, and he was replaced with BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall.  As a result, Virginia moved to a spread offense, which led some commits to look around.

One of those who sought a new home after the change was tight end Andrew Trainer, who on Monday, announced his flip from Virginia to Illinois.

"I really enjoyed my visit (to Illinois)," he said.  "The coaches were very welcoming and I got to interact with the players, which was great.  I also got to speak with academic advisors, which was good, too.  I really liked the campus and how it is big, but everything is within walking distance."

As mentioned before, the pro-style offense under Mike London was supplanted when Bronco Mendenhall brought the spread offense with him to Virginia, leaving Trainer with a system that didn't fit his strengths.

"The new UVA staff said they were going to run the spread offense," he said, "which means they didn't need tight ends.  So, after that I reached out to the schools I was interested in."

However, Illinois had planted the seed of the relationship with Trainer a long time ago, so when he told them his intentions to reopen his options, the two parties picked up more or less where they left off.

"Before I committed to UVA, I used to talk to the coaches from Illinois all the time," Trainer said.  "I've probably talked to the Illinois coaches since last winter."

Trainer hopes that now that he found a better offensive system for his skill set, that he will be a key participant during his college career.

"I think it's a great fit," he said.  "They are committed to using the tight ends in the offense, and I think I can help by blocking in the run game and stretching the field in the pass game."


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