DE Lynden Trail: “It was time for me to go.”

By Adam Silverstein
November 29, 2011

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.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]After redshirting his first year and not playing a down in his second season with the team, he knew it was time to take the next step in his life.

“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.”[/EXPAND]


  1. Alex says:

    He’s conducting himself really well for someone who probably feels burned. Well done, kid.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    If his family is depending on hom to either come out with a degree or an NFL contract, and he isn’t even good enough to make the practice squad, it sounds like he should stay and get his degree, unless they werent going to renew his scholarship

  3. Sroode21 says:

    That’s what happenes when u think ur entitled to play and not earn it

    • Mark says:

      We don’t need fans like you. Please go root for FSU.

    • Joe says:

      What a ridiculous comment. Where did he say he should be playing more? He said that he was working as hard as he could and the coaches still told him he was not playing well enough to get on the field. Maybe he realizes that he is in over his head and wants to go somewhere he can play. He is not acting bitter, throwing anyone under the bus, or putting down the coaching staff. He is handling the entire thing in a classy manner. You should try the same.

  4. Gilbert Gonzalez says:

    Adam please tell me the # of scholarships for 2012 will go up as these players transfer and seniors leaving because the SEC max is 25 correct? Which leave the Gators signing up to 34 players to close the # gap for roster limit which is 85 players I think. Gators were currently with 72 players.

    • Florida will have space for about 29 (I think) and may take over 25 because 7 players are enrolling early.

      • Tractorr says:

        Wait is that how the new rules works? Could we potentially have a full roster next year?

        If so maybe the prospect of next season isn’t quite so bleak.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          don’t forget they are true freshmen and we have to actually get that many to sign. I am not sure, but I think the max you can actually sign and be given a scholarship in any season is 30 no matter how many you have available, but the new SEC rule limits you to 25 in a single season unless you actually have the extra slots open because early enrollees can go to either the previous or current class, and we didnt use all 25 last year.

          Am I far off on that Adam?

      • Nick says:

        “7 players are enrolling early.”

        Which 7?

      • Mr2Bits says:

        Adam : Champ is estimating that we will be going after 32-34 players this class. Zach did a nice write up about it

  5. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Let’s be fair – maybe he can start at a FAU or FIU or UCF, etc. Lots of NFL players come from small Div I schools or non-BCS schools…

    • Ken (CA) says:

      lots of those players can play and start on d1 teams as well, they just haven’t been noticed. But a kid that after 2 years can’t even make it on the practice team at UF? stick to the books, get something a little more meaningful…

  6. John S says:

    If he’s not seeing eye to eye with the coaches and he’s not seeing the field in this system, it makes sense. Wish you the best, thank you for your work in recruiting.

  7. Keith (FL) says:

    So what happens when he goes to another school and excels, will we then look at the coaching staff?

    • scooterp says:

      Keith, is this the first time you have visited the website? About 90% of the goof balls on here have called for Weis to step down, are ready to burn Muschamp at the stake, demanded Quinn to go back to the NFL, cursed every player on the roster and are ready to erase the greatest 6 years we’ve ever had as a program from memory, because they feel our former coach is a wuss. Welcome aboard!

    • g8ter27 says:

      Probably not. We should but won’t. Remember when you used to watch games with Cam Newton in with 3 or 4 minutes to go and say to yourself “why doesn’t he play more?” “why is Tebow still in with 7 minutes to go and us up 34 points and he is running the ball?’. Then was it just me or did anyone else ask why he was demoted behind Brantley to 3rd string. Sure the man needed a laptop but don’t most college kids these days? Seriously though, this kid was a nice guy who loved UF but was not going to see the field whether it be talent based or the coaches hated him so he did what he should have done and in a classy manner. He appeared under sized but I really don’t know and you cannot take the coaches word for it by looking at who was playing this year.

    • HardToKillGator says:

      Let me know how predicting the future works out for you.

  8. Marc Mac says:

    Anyone who says anything negative about this kid needs a reality check. He has been, and seems will continue, to be a first class dude.
    He did nothing less than everything he could to help bring in top notch recruits even when he knew it out be more competition for playing time.
    He caused no problems while on the team, and even seemed to always be giving positive vibes.
    He made a decision that was best for him and his family and did so in an extremely respectful and mature manner.

    I wish him nothing but the best in life. This is the type of person who goes on to lead in life outside of athletics.

    @Sroode21: He never once has said anything eluding to him being entitled to play. You need to work on your reading comprehension.

  9. Joe says:

    As of now we need 29 to get to 85. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of the transfers either.

  10. SpikE says:

    Classy guy. Wish it would have worked out for him in gville.

  11. alex says:

    Trail is a great kid but he weighed no more than 220 pounds, he was never going to see the field at DE.

  12. Gio Showtime says:

    Wow.. sucks that he had to go and I can’t believe he’s as well-spoken as he is, coming out of Booker T. High, as ignorant as that sounds.. it’s EASILY the toughest neighborhood to grow up in down here

  13. drew says:

    you never want to lose kids, but when they conduct themselves the way Trail has you really can’t have anything other than great respect for him. I wish you luck where ever your career takes you.

  14. DJGator08 says:

    Out of all the transfer I wish him the best. Wish he was able to produce while he was here but hope he is able to accomplish his dreams.

  15. aziatic41 says:

    Its fair to give Muschamp a fair chance before calling for his head but I think the biggest mistake he made as a first year coach was getting rid of the spread offense. Our roster was composed of spread offense players and he decided to throw it out the window and install a pro-style offense with spread players. Just not a very smart idea.. Demps, Rainey, and most of all our wrs are spread system players. It also seems that Muschamp is an old-school type of coach. He doesn’t like the 5-start fancy players. He’d rather win with meat-and-potato blue collar guys. I’m not sure if a coach can win with that type of mindset and mentality at a big school like UF. At big universities you have to bring in that elite 5-star talent to win. No doubt about it

    Also, as a first year coach at a big-time program you should never kick your best player off the team right away. Muschamp booted Janoris Jenkins off the team. I think that was a mistake. How many other coaches in the SEC have kicked their “best” players off their team?? Not many that I know of. Just think guys, if we would have had Janoris against UGA, Auburn, SC, I think we would have probably won those games. All of the crucial 3rd and 4th down completions against us, with Janoris defending those plays, they would probably been incomplete passes or ints, and we would be currently standing at 9-3 or 10-2 right now.

    As far as guys transferring, not a surprise to me. Young athletes nowadays have that mentality that if things don’t go well they will leave. Its very common in high school, college, and pro sports. Very sad but a trend among young athletes today

    Also wouldn’t be surprised if Jeff Driskel transferred to Ohio State; as Urban Meyer is the guy who exclusively recruited him

    • Gio Showtime says:

      lol this post could not be anymore wrong

    • GG says:

      I would agree with scraping the offense, may prove to be a major mistake as it set us back 1-2 years. Think you have to work with the talent you have at first, then move in that direction. Hindsight is 20/20.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      only one thing in this post I agree with…first, I agree that complete system change was bad. That is what Meyer was so good at, he had the flexibility to adapt his system to his personnel, not force his personnel into his system. I think he did absolutely the right thing in giving JJ the boot. Set the tone early, and the kid had been given 3 chances. As far as Driskel to OSU? Why? Braxton Miller was Meyer’s 2nd chioce recruiting and will be starting the next 3 years what gain is there for Driskel?

  16. Mr2Bits says:

    Adam – Trail say anything about OSU? Rumors are that he might be heading north with Urbs.

    • Didn’t ask him. Not rumors – he tweeted that he spoke to Urban so people go from there.

      • Joe says:

        If in fact he has talked to Urban Meyer about going to OSU and we haven’t released him from his scolarship, Meyer commited a violation provided Meyer was acting in the capactiy of head coach of OSU. According to OSU’s website, Meyer is NOT a member of the coaching staff yet (they list Fickle as head coach and 9 other assitants which is the NCAA limit) so if that is the case, Meyer has been acting as a representative of OSU and this would be a lack of institution control on OSU’s part.

  17. aziatic41 says:

    If Driskel transferred to Ohio State he would have to sit out one year per NCAA rules which would put him one class behind Braxton Miller. Driskel and Brissett are in the same class and it is very likely that Driskel will be sharing qb duties with Brissett his entire career at UF, provided that Brissett keeps improving, which I think he will.

    Also, Weis and Muschamp seems to favor Brissett over Driskel. I personally think Driskel is more explosive than Brissett and has more playmaking/scrambling ability. But lets just see how this thing will unfolds.

    @Ken (CA), Can you tell me any other coach in the SEC that kicked their “best player” off the team this year? Janoris Jenkins was a stud. Yes he made a silly mistake, but college kids all over the country smokes marijuana. Thats what they do. Jadeveon Clowney from South Carolina was cited for underage drinking twice before the the season started. Did Steve Spurrier kick him off the team? I don’t think so. Look at Jordan Jefferson, Mathieu and those LSU players.. Did Les Miles kick them off the team?

    That was a big mistake by Muschamp by kicking Janoris Jenkins off the team. Now the same fan base and outside sources who influenced him to make that costly decision are calling for his head

  18. Lynden Trail says:

    Gator nation i would love to personally thank you all for the support that you have showed throughout these two seasons that has passed unfortunately things didn’t work out the way i wanted to at the University of Florida i am really focused on going somewhere i can play ball but more importantly get a degree, I would love to receive a Masters degree in communications and become an ESPN sports analyst so once again for those who showed support thank you very much and for those who had negative things to say I LOVE yall anyway and by the way when i arrived at UF i weighed 200 pounds i currently weigh 255 thanks to coach sop the current strength coach And GOD BLESS #TEAMTRAIL #TEAMMEYER #GATORNATION

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