Becoming A Natural

Syracuse football senior center Rob Trudo details making the transition from guard to center with the season on the horizon.

For Rob Trudo, the 2015 season marks his last with the Syracuse Orange. He has spent his previous years as a starting guard, developing a reputation as a strong run blocking interior lineman.

Entering his final season, he is making the transition to center. The quarterback of the offensive line. That transition started during the spring prior to the 2014 season, where he competed for that job. However, with some struggles snapping the ball, John Miller won the job and Trudo stuck at guard.

With Miller exhausting his eligibility, Trudo is back at center. This time, however, things are different.

”It’s been really good,” Trudo said. “I’m real comfortable with the new position. It took about a week and now it just feels natural.”

The hardest part of the initial transition was snapping the ball. Not necessarily because it was a skill that was difficult for Trudo to master, but because he was splitting time between two positions.

This past spring, Trudo was much better. Snapping the football with the quarterback under center or in the shotgun, But more practice was necessary in order to master the most important part of his new position.

Trudo spent the summer snapping footballs every day. As many as 50-100 per day, to be exact. Now, it has become almost second nature.

”I’ve been pretty comfortable with snapping,” Trudo said. “Especially out of the shotgun. It was just last spring, when the whole thing was going on, I had a sprained wrist or whatever. I was also playing guard. Center and guard.

”So I had my hand taped real heavy. For guard, you have both hands taped. Now, I don’t wear any tape on my right hand. My snaps became more accurate as a result.”

Helping make the transition was one of Rob’s good friends, Terrel Hunt, who just happens to be the starting quarterback.

”Me and Terrel have been great friends for five years now,” Trudo said. “We came in together. We went through all the struggling, growing pains with each other. Having a guy back there like that, it makes you want to protect for him. Ivan feels the same way. Omari feels the same way. Pretty much all the offensive line feels the same way.

”Terrel’s a great guy. Just his calm personality. His cool, calm, collective personality. His poise in the huddle in every situation, even in practice or whatever it is. That really helps make you a little bit more calm yourself.”

With the transition complete, the Rimington Award watch list member can turn his focus towards the start of the 2015 season.

”It’s fun,” Trudo said. “I can’t wait for kickoff against Rhode Island. You work so hard all year and you finally get to open it up against Rhode Island. I’m excited. It’s always fun to get the season going.”

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