Easy to be Excited About A.J. Trump

A.J. Trump is a 6-foot-3, 297-pound freshman from Clearwater Central Catholic High School in Clearwater, Fla. The coaches have been impressed with his progress thus far and could be a key contributor in 2005.

A.J. Trump arrived on campus June 22 to participate in summer workouts while attending classes. The extra weeks prior to officially reporting on August 5 helped the freshman adapt.

"Coming in early helped a lot," Trump said. "I was able to learn the offense earlier."

Trump is one of four offensive line part of the 2005 signing class. Reggie Youngblood, Chris Barney, and Matt Pipho are the other three.

Senior Eric Winston is a tremendous leader on the team and helped all of the incoming linemen with any questions they might have especially with Trump.

"Eric will help anyone in any way," Trump said. "He knows the offense better than anyone else on the team. He can teach me certain things with my technique even though I am playing inside, but primarily he helps me with the offense."

It took Trump a couple of practices to get used to the college game.

"It is a lot different from high school," Trump said. "It is a lot faster and more physical."

With 13 practices under his belt he knows he still has more work to do to get where he wants to be.

"It is getting better, but I am not where I want to be yet, but I feel myself getting into a groove," Trump said. "However, I am not at the point where I feel comfortable calling myself a starter because I have a lot of work to do, but that is where I want to be eventually."

The coaches have liked what they have seen from Trump, who is currently a second-team right guard. With injuries to guards Tony Tella and Derrick Morse, he has jumped up through the depth charts.

Trump, who is one of 12 children, possesses good strength at the guard position, but it is work ethic and overall knowledge of the game that is the most encouraging.

Recently, Trump has been working on his snapping before and after practice.

"In order to get him used to snapping the ball, the only thing I know to do is have him do reps," offensive line coach Art Kehoe said.

Whether or not he plays this year is still in question, but it is something he is shooting for.

"It is hard to say what to expect from this year," Trump said. "We still have so many practices before the game, but I expect to travel and hopefully stay on the second team."

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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