"My only focus is on Gulf Coast CC," added Patrick Trahan. "We had a great season (6-3) but now it is playoff time. All three of our losses were by teams that are in the playoffs, so we have to really focus from here on out to advance. The first step in that process is Saturday."
The Rangers lost a heartbreaker in overtime (27-20) to the Bulldogs this month, but Trahan believes his teammates gained a valuable lesson.
"A lot of people were in awe because they were one of the top three nationally ranked teams, but our offense saw they could put some points up on the board. Our defense played solid too. A lot of the people who were timid about playing them learned that we can beat them. We missed an extra point to win the game. That gave our team confidence. We grew as a team after that game."
The former Auburn linebacker, who Coach Tuberville stated had the best spring out of all of the Auburn defenders, has more than held his own this season. Through nine games Trahan has 92 tackles,14 for losses, 7 sacks, and 4 caused fumbles for the year.
"I am just trying to keep myself sharp. I try and keep my game elevated. I am trying to learn what my weaknesses are and try to improve on them. I am playing against myself to make myself better."
And what are Trahan's weaknesses?
"I need to be around the ball more. I want to be a better sideline to sideline player. I want to keep my motor running. It was good before, but I want to be great and strengthen myself in every aspect of my game."
Speed has always been the name to Patrick's game.
"I was timed at a 4.39 at Auburn by a laser last Spring, and this summer I ran a 4.38 at N' West CC's scout day."
Did the fact that Patrick had to step down a level this season hurt his development as a player?
"I would have been starting at Auburn gaining another year of experience, which is very important. But the game comes down to X's and O's and techniques and I feel I have improved in both areas this season. I also think my leadership skills have improved. With me being one of the older guys on the team, my leadership has grown a lot. It helped my team out because I lead by example. I have shown them what it takes to be successful on the D1 level. I try and tell the younger players what this or that will lead to."
Trahan was believed to have left Auburn because he was forced to due to academics, but that is not so.
"I did not have to leave Auburn. I left on my own. I could have stayed and went to school and not played football, but I thought it was in my best interest to play while I went to school and have some other options after I got out of here."
So far, those options are centered around two schools.
"Ole Miss and Auburn are the only schools that I am really talking to right now. The rest of the colleges call my coaches. I am not even sure who they are. I am just trying to concentrate on our season right now."
It just so happened that the Rebels and Tigers slugged it out on the field Saturday. Did Patrick get to watch the game?
"No, but I hear it was a great game. I know all about both of those teams. I know what they are about."
Patrick has had a chance to take in a few Ole Miss practices this Fall.
"I just saw that they are a different organization with the way they practice. I wanted to see what their coaches were like at practice and just how it would be if I went there."
And what did Trahan learn about these issues?
"I think I would be able to come in and have
a pretty smooth transition. I like how they do things over there."
What is Auburn saying?
"Well, they are just talking to me. They do not have to recruit me. I know all about their program and personnel. They just keep in contact with me."
Who is coming after Patrick harder, Auburn or Ole Miss?
"I believe Ole Miss is coming after me harder than Auburn by keeping in contact with me, sending me mail, and what they are talking about if I come there. Just the impact I can have on their team."
Will Trahan get out in December or May?
"I get out in May. If I go back to Auburn, I can come back at any time, but anywhere else, I get out in May."
High school highlights from St. Augustine