As Florida A&M prepares to make waves during the 2012 football recruiting season, it will now be doing so without quarterback Austin Trainor, as he has decided to transfer his services.
Trainor announced Monday to the Tallahassee Democrat that he has chosen to transfer to the University of West Georgia to pursue a starting position. He lost the starting job to freshman Damien Fleming after a 1-2 start during the 2011 season and a lackluster performance against Southern University during the Atlanta Classic on Sept. 24.
As the starter, Fleming finished the season 5-2, pacing FAMU to an 7-4 record overall.
“It was definitely a difficult decision,” Trainor told the Democrat. “Tallahassee is my home and I had made FAMU my home over the past three years. I really enjoyed the school and everything, but I just felt like in order for me the see the football field again, I had to play the next two years where I think my best chances will be.”
FAMU head coach Joe Taylor, out of respect for Trainor’s happiness, said he supports his decision to transfer.
“He decided that his best chances for hitting the field again would be to transfer to West Georgia. So, with that being the case, we always want guys happy,” Taylor told The Famuan. “If that’s going to make him happy, then we support that.”
Taylor, who regarded Trainor as a solid player and a favorable individual, said his decision to bench the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder four games into the 2011 season was based strictly on his in-game performance and the competitive nature of the program.
According to Taylor, Trainor’s departure will have no sway over the team’s performance, as this year’s quarterback lineup is full of promise.
“Damien Fleming, Tyler Bass, and Dave James are all more-than-capable quarterbacks,” Taylor said. “We started off a little slow when he (Trainor) was our quarterback. We didn’t just put this on him; Fleming was just performing better.
“You have to compete no matter where you go, and that’s what we always wanted with our program. Every time we bring somebody in, we’re trying to upgrade and make the team better. When you compete and you end up the top guy, you weren’t handed the position – you earned it.”
Padric Scott, a junior defensive tackle, said he agrees with Taylor in that Trainor’s absence will not hurt the team.
“Trainor definitely has a rocket for an arm, but as far as impact to the team goes, I don’t see it being made,” Scott said. “We finished majority of our season behind Fleming. He’s the person I trusted to end last season, and he’s the person I trust to start this season.”
Trainor was a major factor in the six-game winning streak that concluded the 2010 season, which paced FAMU to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference co-Championship.
Trainor capped the season with 610 yards total offense. He passed for 580 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 30 yards on 15 carries with one TD, according to famuathletics.com.