It’s heaven-sent that Notre Dame junior Andrew Trumbetti is blessed with the frame of a football player equipped to duel in the sport’s trenches rather than on its perimeter.
Trumbetti, you see, would make a terrible cornerback.
It’s not speed, or aggression, or dedication to his craft that he lacks, far from it. And it’s certainly not a conscientious mind.
It’s his memory, and the resulting, lingering, maddening recollection of recent mistakes. Any mistake.
“I think I’ll always be my own worst critic, I don’t think that’ll ever change no matter how hard I try to forget about it, that’s just something I have to play with,” said Trumbetti. “I have to use it toward my advantage I guess.”
The requisite, “good thing you’re not a cornerback” comment followed to which Trumbetti responded, “Yeah, oh my God. Thank God.”
Instead Trumbetti is back where he belongs, coming off the edge rather than tussling with a pair of opposing shoulder pads and attempting to hold the line in front of him.
“It feels good to be back over at Rush. I feel a lot more comfortable out there,” he said. “Playing Big End (2015) was tough. I did what I had to do for the team but it feels good to be where I’m supposed to be.”
Trumbetti weighs a solid 40 pounds less than Notre Dame’s Big End and best defensive player, senior Isaac Rochell. The Demarest, N.J. native is however well equipped to handle the responsibilities of Rush End (for the sake of reference, Romeo Okwara started in the position last season), but a problem persists, and it has little to do with his physical attributes.
“We just gotta get him to cut it loose,” said Irish head coach Brian Kelly. “There’s just a little bit of apprehension at times. Still a little bit, at times – we’d like to see him GO. That’s just confidence. He’s doing some good things we just need to see it on a more consistent basis.”
His head coach’s words hit home for Trumbetti.
“I didn’t really think anything of it until I heard of it today,” said Trumbetti. “I guess now that I think about it it’s true, I feel like I am leaving a lot out there.
“I feel like sometimes when I get out there I’m afraid to make a mistake. I guess that holds me back sometimes. I need to go out there and play ball like I was born to do. I feel like that’s what he means by it.
In other words, to avoid paralysis by analysis.
“I have everything to go out there and dominated but sometimes, I’m afraid to do something wrong. Something like that I guess. I’m not really sure, but that’s the way I took it.”
SECOND HALF BUILDING BLOCK?
Trumbetti played the entire 2015 regular season without recording a quarterback sack, surprising in that he finished his rookie season of ’14 with five QB pressures and looked the part of emerging Rush End.
He ended on a high note, posting a sack against Ohio State in addition to a pair of tackles-for-loss plus two QB pressures. All told, Trumbetti was part of five backfield tackles vs. the Buckeyes – 4.5 in the second stanza when the Irish defense enjoyed resurgence.
“I like Sub (obvious passing situations) a lot. That’s the money down,” said Trumbetti. “You just go out there and do what a D-End wants to do. I feel like that’s where I need to get better because that’s where everyone needs me to be the best. I feel like I need to focus on that.”
Time to cut it loose.