VAUGHT: Smith likes Trevathan's potential

Since Braxton Kelley and Micah Johnson both played big roles for Kentucky as true freshmen, it's not easy to gauge just how good Danny Trevathan is.

Sure, the Florida freshman is not being redshirted and is playing on special teams. But he's not making the impact Kelley, a four-year starter, or Johnson, a solid contributor, did when they were freshmen.

Yet linebacker coach Chuck Smith insists Trevathan may actually be ahead of where his two older teammates were as freshmen.

"Danny for a freshman has really picked up the defense faster than maybe Braxton and Micah did. He really undestands what we are doing. He does a good job of sitting over here and paying attention and watching. When he gets his reps, he does a good job," Smith said.

"If he had been here two or three years ago, I guarantee you he would have been playing as a freshman. He's good enough to have done that. He has that kind of ability. He will be a good player. He just needs strength and maturity." What he already has is speed.

"He is very fast. That is what you are looking for. You want a linebacker that can run like that," Smith said. "He has a lot of potential. He is just not mentally mature or physically ready to step in and be a SEC every play linebacker right now. But will he get there? I think he will. This year I don't know. Next year I am a lot more confident."

Smith says it will probably benefit Trevathan that he wasn't rushed into action the way Kelley and Johnson were even when they were overmatched by older, more experienced opponents.

"You shouldn't be playing as a freshman in the SEC. You should be playing in the SEC with juniors and seniors. That is what we have on defense now, and should have. A sophomore if he is really special could play, and he could fit in that category next year because I think he has all the tools to be a great player," Smith said.

AllWildcats Top Stories