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Jackets In College: Danny Trevathan, University of Kentucky
Former LHS standout looks to make major contribution for
By Frank Jolley
August 18, 2009
Updated: Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:51 p.m.
LEESBURG -- Danny Trevathan is a hidden gem.
That's what the former Leesburg High School football standout is being called by many insiders with
the University of Kentucky program.
A rising sophomore, Trevathan is expected to assume a greater role at Kentucky this season after
spending his first season getting adapted to the speed and nuances of college football. According to
UK defensive line coach Rick Petri, who recruited Trevathan, the versatility he showed in high school
should make him a valuable player at the collegiate level.
"He was an athletic guy who could run real fast," Petri told the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. "And he
did it all; he played all over the field, so not only was he a great athlete, the fact that he played so many
positions told me that he was instinctive and a pure football player.
"That's what you look for. If you get guys like that, then you can figure out where they can best help you
when you get them here."
Largely because he was able to contribute in so many ways, Trevathan saw action in each of the
Wildcats' 13 games as a freshman, mainly on special teams. He had five tackles and blocked a kick
against Georgia that set up a Kentucky touchdown.
In addition, Trevathan, a 6-foot-1, 220 pounder, returned a punt for 10 yards.
Trevathan gave coaches and fans a glimpse of his potential during Kentucky's spring game this year
when he made 11 tackles, including one for a loss and ran through defenders on a 31-yard kickoff
His efforts in the spring left Kentucky coach Rich Brooks singing Trevathan's praises.
"Danny Trevathan is a big-time player, pure and simple," Brooks told the Herald-Leader. "He's as good
as any four-star guy that you can talk to me about at linebacker. He will have a major impact on this
team if he is able to stay healthy this year. He's very fast. He's very instinctive. He doesn't look big, but
weighs about 220-225. He's a very special talent, so now will just have to go out and see what he can
Trevathan said he wasn't expecting to burst on the scene as a sophomore. Still, he has taken notice of
the high regard in which Brooks holds him.
"Everything's happening pretty fast," Trevathan recently told reporters. "But I can't lie and say hearing
the coaches say good things about me doesn't affect me. I try to avoid that and be humble, but at the
same time, when you hear things like that you've got to feel good about yourself. I definitely don't want
to let (the coaching staff) down, so I've been doubling my workouts and working twice as hard."
Trevathan, the Daily Commercial's 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, selected Kentucky over Purdue,
the University of Central Florida, Indiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Buffalo, all of which offered him
scholarships, according to Leesburg coach Charles Nassar.
"To watch a guy grow up from ninth to 12th grade is always a great thing," Nassar said when
Trevathan signed a national letter of intent with Kentucky in 2008.
Trevathan is one of Nassar's biggest success stories as a coach. According to Nassar, Trevathan
wasn't "mature" as a freshman and his academic suffered, but he changed his classroom and study
habits, and became a true student-athlete.
"Every player in our program looks up to him because he is a great player," Nassar said in 2008. "I had
a parent contact me and wanted me to sit down and talk with their child about their academics and
how important it is. She saw how much Danny had changed. ... He has made a huge impact. It has
impacted the entire school community. It has been nothing but positive."
Reports from the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader contributed to this story.