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Justin Vanfulpen - LionsFans.com
SAGINAW -- It is hard making it in the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent. But try to make it as one when you are not even playing the same position that you did in college. That is what Stephen Trejo, a rookie free agent from Arizona State, is attempting to accomplish. Trejo is trying to make the Lions as a back-up fullback, although he played linebacker in college.
It is a little different, you still have to react to what the defense is doing, said Trejo. But I know what my assignment is before the play I know what is going to happen.
In the West Coast offense that new head coach Marty Mornhinweg is implementing, the fullback is asked to do more then just be a run blocker, he is asked to catch and run with the ball. In training camp thus far, Trejo has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as run with the ball effectively.
But it is not like Trejo has never carried the ball. In high school, he was a first team All-State selection as a junior and a senior where he had 178 carries for 1,458 yards and 19 touchdowns. Trejo is a big full back at 6-2, 258 pounds, so he needs to get lower with his pad level when he is blocking and he will agree with that.
I need to work on staying low, getting my pad level down. I need to have my pad level down so I can sustain blocks and stay on blocks better, Trejo said.
If Trejo is able to get that worked out, he could be a force to reckon with, considering his size and athletic ability. Trejo worked out extensively before coming to training camp to get ready for the experience of the NFL.
I did a lot of explosive speed training in the weight room, on the track, just to get myself ready for training camp, and ready to go here, he said.
Trejo is in a battle with Brock Olivo for the back up full back spot, and Trejo has 2 inch and 25 pounds on Olivo. However, Olivo has the experience going into his 4th season with the Lions.
Something that Trejo realizes is that the talent of the players in the NFL is just that much better then college.
Everyone is just that much better, just the talent level is that much better. You have to be perfect on every play or else something bad will happen, said Trejo.
Another thing that the Lions will be look at Trejo for is his ability on special teams, as well as his full back skills to make it on the roster. Since he was a linebacker in college, those skills should show up on special teams. He finished his career at Arizona State with 88 tackles and 3 sacks. If he shows in the pre-season game his ability to play on special teams as well as his skills as a full back, Lions fans can expect to see another rookie free agent make the team this season.
Notes from SVSU:
The Lions plan to take rookie defensive tackle Shaun Rogers off the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list today so he can begin full-scale drills in training camp. Also guard Matt Joyce is also coming off the PUP list today as well.
Wide receiver Herman Moore is ahead of schedule in his recovery, and is practicing with the team without pads and is not supposed to have any contact.
Wide receiver Germane Crowell (injured right knee) did not practice as well as fullback Brock Olivo because he is in Toronto for treatment on a pulled hamstring.
The Lions signed wide receiver Junior Lord. Lord is 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds was cut by the Packers Thursday.