Redshirt senior Adam Trautman is the first Flyer selected in the NFL Draft since Bill Westbeld in 1977. Photo from Erik Schelkun
Incoming Sports Editor
Former University of Dayton football tight end Adam Trautman was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round with the 105th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft late Friday night.
For Flyers’ head coach Ron Chamberlin, the selection was an excellent opportunity for the Flyers to receive some national attention and boost their recruiting efforts.
“(The selection of Trautman) brings some national attention and recognition to the type of men we have here,” Chamberlin said. “We don’t have a draftee every year, but this shows people what we have here… why we win.”
Trautman echoed his former coach’s sentiments when he said his selection puts a spotlight on the program.
“(My selection) shows that UD can produce these types of players, even though you’re not getting paid (in athletic scholarships),” Trautman said. “It’s absolutely huge for the program for exposure and recruiting.”
Although the selection came later than expected, the Saints ended the wait for Trautman and Flyers fans by taking the stand-out tight end with the penultimate pick in the third round.
“I was stressed,” Trautman said. “But when I heard (Saints GM) Mickey Loomis and (Saints head coach) Sean Payton’s voices, I was really excited. A huge relief came over me… it was an awesome feeling.”
“It was a long night,” Chamberlin said. “I didn’t think it would take that long… (when it started getting late) I felt certain it would happen in the fourth round… (when he was drafted) I came up out of my seat, I was so excited for Adam and his family, and also for UD football.”
During his record-setting career at UD, Trautman posted impressive numbers, catching 178 passes for 2,295 yards and 31 TDs.
Trautman said he hopes to take what he learned at UD and apply it to his NFL career.
“Taking everything seriously, paying attention to small details,” Trautman said. “I learned to emphasize the little details.”
The Williamsburg, Mich., native blasted onto the scene in his record-setting redshirt senior season, racking up 916 yards and 14 TDs on the way to being selected to the 2019 STATS FCS All America First Team.
Trautman will have the chance to compete for a starting position in New Orleans, which Trautman said is in “win-now mode,” and learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time in Drew Brees. Trautman said he looks forward to working with and learning from Brees, because of the “knowledge (Brees) has and how successful he has been.”
Trautman said he hopes to do the same learning from Payton, and he hopes to pick Payton’s brain and be “like a sponge.”
His competition to start will be tough, but Trautman has the skills and qualities needed to make a difference on a Super Bowl-caliber roster.
“When people start meeting Adam,” Chamberlin said. “They see what a quality individual he is. He’s really smart… it’s not easy to be an electrical engineer major.”
A bonus that comes with Trautman’s selection is the strides UD can take in recruiting. Now, when recruits come to Dayton, Chamberlin said he can point to what Trautman was able to achieve, and that the attention that comes with having an NFL draft pick will help greatly.
Even though recruiting will be boosted, coach Chamberlin said seeing Trautman being selected was thrilling and gratifying after the hard work Trautman put in at UD.
“We get young men here, and we tell them and their parents, ‘They’re our sons,’” Chamberlin said. “When you see one of your own at that level, it thrills me as a coach… You want the best for your children.”
Although Trautman was selected just before midnight Friday night, Chamberlin said the outpouring of support from the “Flyer family” was unbelievable.
“You wouldn’t believe the number of texts I got,” Chamberlin said. “I wasn’t just excited for Adam I was excited for the Flyer family.”