Aug. 13, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
It's not uncommon to see college football players transfer fromone school to another.
Several players each year transfer from two-year junior colleges tofour-year schools.
Often times, players at the Division I-A level will drop down a level or twoto Division I-AA or Division II.
But what you don't see that often are players transfer up a level, let alonefour.
Wheatland's J.C. Trautwein is the exception.
Trautwein spent his first three years of college at South Dakota Tech, anNAIA school in Rapid City, S.D. Trautwein played outside linebacker there,and earned honorable mention all-conference honors in 2001.
Although football was going well, Trautwein wasn't happy with school. So hetransferred to UW last year and joined former high school teammate CaseyBramlet on the Cowboys roster.
Trautwein was a squad member last season and didn't appear in any games. Butin his upcoming senior season, Trautwein should see plenty of playing time.
As fall camp began, Trautwein was penciled in as the back-up to strongsidelinebacker behind Tyler Gottschalk. Trautwein also figures to play on justabout every Cowboys special teams unit this season.
Trautwein said the speed and the size of some players have been the biggesttransitions from playing at the NAIA level to Division I-A. But there havebeen plenty of perks that go along with adjustments.
"Division I has been a blast," Trautwein said. "The facilities are a lotbetter, people get excited about (football) and interviews like this. It's ablast."
Not only is Trautwein excited about his senior season, so are his coaches.
Linebackers coach Marty English said that in his 17 years of coaching, he'sseen maybe two players transfer this high up in terms of levels of play.
However, English has no doubt that Trautwein will help the Cowboys thisseason.
"All I know he's been one of the hardest workers we have," English said. "Hedid not miss a workout this summer. He's constantly trying to improve anddoing everything he can to get himself on the field. He's earned this spotright now.
"Before, he had to be a standout wherever he was. I would have to guess thatbecause he's in there right now fighting for a lot of playing time. He's aspecial player. He's going to be a special teams player every down, and he'sgoing to come in and spell T.J. and not hurt us."
At just 6-foot and 205 pounds, Trautwein won't be the biggest linebacker outon the field, but English said that he plans to move Trautwein around thefield a lot and let him use his running and blitzing ability to try and makeplays.
Another coach who has been impressed with Trautwein has been UW's strengthand conditioning coach Scott Bennett.
"The credit belongs to him," Bennett said. "It has nothing to do with anylevel he's played at before, or any level he's going to be at right now.That's just what that guy does. If he was playing here, if he was playing inthe NFL or playing junior college football, he's going to give you 1,000percent every single day. That's the only way he knows how to go is wideopen."