Redshirt freshman defensive end Lynden Trail has been on quite a journey during his time with the Florida Gators.
From doing whatever he could to keep the highly touted 2010 recruiting class together to marrying his wife to putting smiles on fans’ faces with his planking pictures over the summer, Trail has accomplished a lot during his time in the orange and blue.
In fact, he’s done everything except actually step on the field and play football for the Gators.
On Monday, Trail decided to transfer from Florida, a school that he remains passionate about and plans to continue following no matter where he winds up. He will remain to be a fan of the Gators but realized that his time was up in Gainesville, FL.
“I just spoke with my mother for a minute about it and told [the coaches] today. The coaching staff handled it very professionally, and I did it on my end as well,” he explained to OGGOA Monday. “They told me they loved me. I told them I loved them, too. I just told them I thought this decision is what was best for me, and they respected everything.
“When I spoke with my mother, the thing she wanted to know was why was I not at least on the sideline with the team. These were questions I couldn’t answer. They were left up to the coaching staff. I respect every decision that they made and have been positive about a lot of things throughout this journey here with Gator Nation. I just kept hoping and praying and things just did not work out the way I wanted them to.”
Head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn each said this year that Trail was not playing well enough in practice to play let alone dress for the team.
Trail himself confirmed that the coaches told him this but maintained that he was playing to the best of his ability and trying his hardest to improve with each practice.
“My mother has always taught me to plan for the future,” Trail said. “I’m just trying to make the best move for me and my wife right now because my family is depending on me to come out with a degree or come out with a NFL contract. To stay in one spot and not make progress, I had to do what I had to do.”
Trail does not know where he is headed for the next chapter of his life but is not going to picky. He chose to stay in-state when committing to Florida but will be happy to go to whatever school provides him with the best opportunity going forward.
“Coming out of high school I always felt like I had to stay in Florida. As of right now, my mindset is that I just have to go somewhere that’s going to let me play, give me an opportunity to show them what I can do and get some film,” he said.
He could not speak to the specific reasons why nine other players in addition to him have transferred this season but said a lot of it probably has to do with mental makeup.
“I feel like, coming in, there are a lot of four and five star recruits, therefore everybody is highly recruited. In high school, they have this persona of being the big man on campus,” he explained. “Due to the fact that everybody probably wasn’t getting the attention that they wanted or needed, it probably played a big issue in a lot of things. The level of competition is great, but at the same time, many feel that they should be starting or at least playing, and that can play with an athlete’s mind.”
Though Trail was not sure the exact reasons why fellow redshirt freshman safety Joshua Shaw also decided to transfer Monday, he guessed that it had to do with his distance from home and the fact that he was not too pleased with his spot in the rotation at safety.
He may no longer be wearing orange and blue in 2012, but he was adamant that the colors will continue to course through his veins no matter where he winds up.
“I still love Gator Nation. I still love all my teammates that are here, and I will keep in contact with a lot of them. I will still keep in contact with a lot of Gator fans, who I now consider Gator friends,” Trail said passionately.
“I do want them to know that I’m not leaving because I don’t like the school. I’m leaving because my time is up and I’m just looking for a better opportunity. Overall it was time for me to go somewhere else where I can get an opportunity to step on the field.
“I still love Gator Nation.”