Redshirt senior tight end Adam Trautman is a man of humble beginnings. Hailing from Elk Rapids High School in Williamsburg, Michigan, Trautman was one of 18 varsity players on his team. Back in those days, Trautman wasn’t the daunting 6-foot-6-inch tight end Flyer fans have the pleasure of watching suit up on Saturdays. Rather, he was a quarterback, setting school records in all the major passing categories.
Fast forward a few years and Trautman has gone from headlining a team of 18 young men, to becoming a potential pick in the 2020 NFL draft. How does someone from a small town who takes their talents to the University of Dayton to play quarterback become a projected NFL caliber tight end?
Head Coach Rick Chamberlain has a one-word answer to that question – focus. When asked for a single word to describe Trautman, this is what Chamberlain inevitably fell upon, stating, “He is a focused young man, he knows what he wants to do, and he knows how he has to go about to achieve those things.”
Focus is what it takes to arrive at a program like the University of Dayton, five times the size of Trautman’s previous program. At UD, Trautman has won Offensive Scout Player of the Year, after making the move from quarterback to tight end.
Chamberlain’s decision to move the big man from signal caller to receiving threat paid off for the Flyers in enormous proportions. In his four active years with the Flyers, Trautman has amassed 1379 yards receiving 17 touchdowns and numerous key blocks for the Flyers.
Heading into his senior season, Trautman was not only attracting attention from the PFL for his prolific junior season, where he led the Flyers in both receiving yards and touchdowns, but also attention from NFL scouts and analysts. Mel Kiper Jr. placed Trautman as a potential day three pick in this year’s NFL draft. NFL scouts seem to agree with Kiper’s analysis as they have shown interest in each of the three games Trautman has played in this season.
How does a small-town kid who’s been named to the Preseason First Team All-PFL list, named 2019 team captain and attracted NFL attention keep his head straight?
“I know with everything that’s been happening you can’t really anticipate this stuff,” Trautman said. “I know what got me here and nothing that shows up about me is going to change how I work, and I believe if I stay true to that things will work out.”
Chamberlain can attest to the work that Trautman puts forth both in athletics and academically, where Trautman was awarded PFL Academic Honors as well as being placed on the University of Dayton’s honor roll to go with his accolades on the field.
“He’s a very disciplined individual and that goes back to his focus… when it’s time to focus in on academics he knows the work that needs to be done and gets it done,” Chamberlain said. “When it’s time to focus on football, boom, he focuses on football and puts in the work.”
Trautman is an engineering student at Dayton where the course work is rigorous, NFL bound or not, but Trautman has managed to excel both on and off the field.
The jump from Elk Rapids Highschool to Dayton is one that can affect even the most dedicated of individuals; however, it seems like the jump from Dayton to the NFL would be even more of a shock.
Chamberlain praises Trautman on his ability to block out the outside noise of draft predictions.
“That’s the way Adam is,” Chamberlain said. “He’s focused on this season and playing at his absolute best for this program and his teammates. Despite the scouts at practice and games he’s able to keep those things out of his mind and focus on the things he has to do. He’s the same guy as when he was a freshman here and I think that will attribute to his success moving forward.”
Football, as we all know, is not a sport where successes can be attributed to one individual. Trautman praises his coaching staff and especially his fellow teammates for preparing him for whatever may come his way at the next level, mentioning the skills those around him have provided.
“Coach Chamberlain runs a tight ship and treats every player very professionally, which is how it will be at the next level,” Trautman said. “As well as my tight end coach who has helped me improve my game and gives me an opportunity to show what I can do on Saturdays. [My teammates] push me every single day, they don’t look or treat me differently, they keep me the same person.”
The soft handed tight end from Dayton has big things ahead of him this coming spring, but for right now Adam Trautman is relishing his final year at the University of Dayton, never wavering from the work that got him to where he is today.
Trautman will look to lead the Flyers to their first PFL title since 2015 before setting his sights on representing all the Flyer Faithful in the National Football League.
Photo taken by Atticus Hughes