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Today, a guest piece comes into OJT from Andrew Gorringe, Lead Football / Recruiting Analyst for UteSportsReport.com, a University of Utah website (part of Scout.com). Thanks to Andrew for bringing his first-hand analysis to Jets fans.
One of the most beloved Utes in recent memory, and of all time, is without a doubt Trevor Reilly.
The 6’5-255lb linebacker/defensive end was the perfect player for the University of Utah football program, which built its reputation for being hardworking and playing with a chip on their shoulder. It’s no different for Reilly. He played with that same attitude on the field, and was the unquestioned leader during an up and down 2013 season. The 2013 season didn’t go the way that Reilly and Ute fans hoped it would, but there was always one thing that you could count on when Utah took the field, and that was that Trevor Reilly was going to be a beast.
- Motor – Reilly was one of the most relentless players I have ever seen play the game. Not once would you find him giving up on a play, and that motor led to big plays & turnovers. One of the biggest plays he made at Utah was stripping a Stanford WR of the ball, while the WR was on his way down. Most players would’ve just stood by and watched the WR be tackled, but Reilly saw the opportunity to snatch the ball away from the WR for a big turnover. That’s one of many examples.
- Technique – You’re not going to find a lot of linebackers out there that have better tackling technique. Over his 4 year playing career, I can count on one hand, the number of times Reilly missed a tackle. He is one of the most sure tacklers I ever seen play.
- IQ – Reilly was the quarterback of the Utah defense. He knew the playbook like the back of his hand, and was consistently coaching up fellow teammates. He knew where to be, when to be there and what the opposing offense was going to be doing.
- Leadership – Being 26 years old and married with kids, Reilly is going to be one of the most mature rookies in the league. Reilly will lead vocally and by example, but obviously will have to earn the respect of the veterans in the locker room before he can lead vocally. If he does earn that respect, the Jets are going to have a very natural leader in their locker room.
- Age – I mentioned his age already, and that is probably the biggest downside to Trevor, and one of the main reasons he plummeted in the draft. He served a two year Mormon mission, then redshirted a year and then stayed in school the full four years. It’s not ideal to get a rookie that may only have 8 years to play in the NFL, but it should be a very productive 8 years for Reilly
- Knee Injury – Trevor played his entire junior (2012) season on a torn ACL. If I remember correctly, he tore his ACL in the summer leading up to the season, and opted to wear a brace, instead of having surgery right away. This news didn’t surface until after the season ended, and to be honest, fans wouldn’t have even guessed he had a torn ACL based off of his performance. He was still every bit as productive, but was just an extra step slower that season. He rehabbed the knee all of spring 2013, and had no issues during the season. About a month before the NFL combine, he had the same knee scoped, and was unable to perform at the combine. This also scared a lot of teams off, but I have a hard time thinking that it will be a recurring issue going forward.
- Playing in Space – Reilly is best suited playing near the line of scrimmage. He does a great job of using leverage and getting off blocks, but he’ll struggle with playing in space in the NFL. He doesn’t have the speed to keep up with the new trend of fast tight ends, and scat backs out of the backfield.
Now, you may want to take my analysis on Reilly with a grain of salt, as I am a fan of Trevor and Utah.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find someone that isn’t a fan of Trevor, who spent any amount of time watching him play. Media members loved Trevor because of his candid interviews. He’s not afraid to speak his mind, and will provide some priceless quotes. Fans loved him because he always gave 100% no matter what; however, I haven’t mentioned the main reason that Trevor is so beloved.
Some of you may have already heard this story, but during Reilly’s college career, his 10 month old daughter Shayn was battling kidney cancer. Trevor always said that football was a way for him to escape, but it was always clear that his family came first. For how good of a football player Trevor is, he’s an even better husband/father/human being.
Trevor was/is a beloved member of the University of Utah community, and will be held in very high regards amongst that community for the rest of his life. It’s safe to say that Ute fans will be paying close attention to Trevor and the New York Jets this season.