Confidence is something that is built within. For redshirt-freshman Austin Trainor, it is something that has always been there.
In last Saturday’s game against North Carolina A&T, Trainor got his first career start at quarterback and showed glimpses of the talent FAMU coaches knew he had.
Trainor completed 16 of 35 passes, and he threw a touchdown with two interceptions in the victory. The decision to start Trainor came last Wednesday during an important offensive drill in practice.
“Trainor led the offense to an easy touchdown in our two-minute drill, where as in previous weeks there was not production coming from the drill,” head coach Joe Taylor said.
Trainor replaced redshirt-sophomore Martin Ukpai, who is now his backup.
Ukpai completed 5 of 19 passes in his last start and at times failed to connect with open receivers. Trainor said Ukpai is a tremendous competitor who pushes him on the field.
“Martin is a great player and wonderful athlete, so he’s done a great job to get us to this point,” Trainor said.
Taylor said Trainor adds a vertical element to the Rattlers’ offense.
“Trainor brings us balance and is a very confident guy and his production will help us,” Taylor said.
With Trainor as quarterback, the receivers should see more opportunities for big plays.
Trainor, who likes to sit in the pocket, said he is ready to lead the team.
“I know I can lead the team now because I have been preparing for this opportunity all season,” Trainor said.
Big plays typically happen when players take chances. In last Saturday’s game against North Carolina A&T, wide receivers dropped three potential touchdowns.
The running game could flourish if Trainor becomes a passing threat, as opposing defenses begin to alter their defensive schemes to stop him.
Senior running back Philip Sylvester said Trainor plays with poise, and he brings a new dynamic to the team.
“Trainor is a real confident guy and brings us energy that we need from the quarterback position,” Sylvester said.
Trainor also said he’s confident in his abilities but he said he also has playmakers who open the field for him.
“I’m confident in myself, and I’ve always been a confident guy because the weapons we have makes the game so much easier for me,” Trainor said.
The Rattlers will have to win both of their remaining games in order to earn a post-season berth.