Good thing for Ole Miss, Patrick Trahan's lungs are finally getting in shape.
When asked about the questions regarding his conditioning early on in fall camp, the former Auburn/Northwest CC linebacker admits to the struggles, although he counters that his body was OK. The lungs: not so much.
"I think my body was in shape, but I think my lungs just weren't in shape," Trahan said. "I've got to be able to catch my breath and be able to run and get my heart rate up and all that stuff."
Improvement has been seen by the coaches on nearly a daily basis, and the speedy outside linebacker is pushing for significant playing time. It is even being looked at to move 2007 leading tackler Ashlee Palmer over to make room for Trahan.
"You see it everyday, Patrick is really coming along," defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix said.
A learning and conditioning curve was expected considering that Trahan needed solid grades in three college courses just to qualify this past summer. With all the schoolwork, working out the body instead of the brain was a distant priority.
"Every now and then, somebody would want to throw a football or something," Trahan said. "I mean I tried. I really had to focus on the books, so it wasn't too pretty. Before, I kept running and I think I was in good shape in the spring but I had a little ankle injury and I had to slow down playing basketball and stuff like that and that hurt me a little bit as far as conditioning.
"There was no alternative to me not doing my (class) work. Every day, I sat in the first row and talked to my professors after class and did whatever I had to do. I ended up making really good grades."
The intelligent efforts have carried over to the practice field as well, with Trahan moving through Nix's defensive intricacies.
"He's a real good teacher and a real good coach," Trahan said. "On the first day, I knew the defense, but it was just a matter of getting my reactions together with the defense because sometimes I would react a different way. I just have to have the defense down to where I know when to take on (an opponent) with the right shoulder or the left shoulder."
Through the tough first weeks of camp, Trahan has also been able to keep his playing weight. With a frame of just more than six-foot-two, he is weighing 228 pounds.
"It's all in my legs, and I look good in my pads," Trahan joked. "It is a good weight for me, and I promise I weigh 228. That has been important to make sure to stay at this weight and improve my lung capacity and conditioning.
"Game week is getting close, and everything has to be in order."
In Good Shape
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