June 5, 2008

Top Ole Miss LB signee updates status

The linebacker position is a big issue for Ole Miss headed into the 2008 season and one player was signed to specifically bulk up the position - former Auburn signee and player Patrick Trahan.

Trahan left Auburn after two seasons in the spring of 2007 due to academic issues and shortly thereafter enrolled at Northeast Mississippi C.C. in Senatobia where he promptly made All-American and signed with Ole Miss last February.

The catch for Trahan has always been to overcome his academic shortcomings - and in order to enroll in any Division I school other than Auburn - to graduate from junior college with a 2.0 GPA.

With Trahan, the Rebels go from a serious weak position to one that looks a lot better because of his size and speed - 6-foot-2, 230 pounds with 4.4 speed. In addition, his experience makes not only for a quick transition in fall camp, but also his skills and game experience could rub off on some other linebackers, such as Ashlee Palmer, Tony Fein, and Jonathan Cornell.

When Trahan was signed, it was a given that he'd be touch and go when it came to meeting academic standards, but on Wednesday, Trahan was upbeat about the prospects of qualifying to enroll at Ole Miss and playing this fall.

"I'm taking Comp II and Intro to Philosophy and I have my GPA," Trahan said. "I did everything I needed to do in the spring and now I just need to pass those two classes."

Actually, not only does he have to pass those two classes, he must make a least a "C" in each one.

Trahan said he's still in Senatobia - despite reports that he was enrolled in classes in the Northwest campus in Oxford.

"I wanted to take the classes in Oxford," he said. "But they weren't offering what I needed, so I'm still at Senatobia and taking them in Senatobia."

Trahan attends classes Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. until noon.

He's also getting some support from his mother and brother, something that started last semester and continues during the summer semester.

"My mother and my brother are keeping an eye on me," he said. "They're making sure that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. They are my inner circle - sometimes it's annoying - but their hearts are in the right place and it's in good faith to make sure I'm doing the right thing."

Evidently the support has been instrumental in Trahan's academic improvement. He took a full load of classes in the spring, and according to the prospect, did what was necessary where two potential summer semesters have been reduced to one.

"I know what I need to get," Trahan said about his current course work. "I want to enroll in the second semester at Ole Miss. I don't know if that's going to work out, but that's may goal. I'd like to be there."

Not only has Trahan improved in the classroom, but he's also focused his efforts on workouts to be ready to play once he arrives.

"I'm working out in Senatobia every day," he said. "I'm running and we have a weight room and working out with some former (Northwest) teammates."

"I ready to do whatever it takes to be physically ready to play," he said. "I'm ready to step up to the task."

After graduating from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans in 2005, Trahan played in every game in 2006 for the Tigers and was called the best linebacker in Auburn's spring practice a year ago.

"The last two games of the year against Alabama and the Bowl game I played more than the starter did," Trahan said. "The Auburn coaches told me that I was the most productive player they had during this past spring camp."

Trahan's best 40-yard dash time at Northwest was timed a 4.38 seconds and was laser timed at Auburn at 4.39.

It's that speed that Ole Miss needs at linebacker, and while it's not a foregone conclusion that Trahan will be on the field this fall as he still has work to do in the classroom as well as to clear all the administrative hurdles associated with attending two schools and officials ensuring all is in order, Trahan appears a lot more likely to qualify than he did headed into the spring semester.

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