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Odenton Resident Returns to Action at William & Mary
Senior linebacker Trantin missed 2010 season due to family reasons and is now among the leading tacklers for the Tribe.
Jake Trantin has spent his college football career playing for Jimmye Laycock, a coaching legend in Virginia.
Laycock has been the head coach at William & Mary since 1980 and, once played for coaching gurus Marv Levy and Lou Holtz at the school. Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Steelers, played at William & Mary.
But senior linebacker Trantin, a native of Odenton, has his own connections to a former NFL coach. He is the nephew of former Washington Redskins’ head coach Marty Schottenheimer.
“My mother’s maiden name is Schottenheimer. Her brother is Marty. She grew up in Pennsylvania,” said Trantin, a former standout at Archbishop Spalding in Severn.
Trantin said he attended a few games in Landover to watch the Redskins when Schottenheimer was the head coach in 2001. He is now the head coach of the Virginia Destroyers in the United Football League, based in southeast Virginia, and Trantin got to see him this summer before beginning practice at William & Mary.
A former student at Odenton Christian School, Trantin also hopes to play at the pro level once he finishes his college career this season.
In the first seven games this season Trantin, at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, had 26 solo tackles and 31 assists and his 57 total tackles was second on the team.
“I would like to keep playing football,” said Trantin, who is on track to graduate in the spring. “I don’t have any (other) plans at this point. I would play in any league I could.”
Scott Boone, the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for William & Mary, said of Trantin: “He has been a very consistent and steady player for us, not only as a player but as a leader on our defense. He has done really well. The only (problem) has been some nagging injuries that has limited his practice time.”
So could Trantin get picked up by an NFL team next year, possibly as a non-drafted free agent?
“I don’t think it is out of the question,” Boone said. “As he gets healthier a lot could happen for us. He gives us leadership on the field. That is what we count on. He works hard.”
Trantin played on the scout team as a redshirt in 2007. As a redshirt freshman in 2008 he started all 11 games at two linebacker spots. Then in 2009 he led the team with 90 tackles at middle linebacker and was named all-Colonial Athletic Association second team.
Trantin said he missed the 2010 season at William & Mary for family reasons, which he declined to elaborate on.
“It has been an adjustment for sure, taking that time off at any level,” he said. “I have done well catching up. I have had some good improvement and each week I am getting better.”
In high school he played linebacker and running back at Spalding. He ended up picking Wiliam & Mary over Towson, another school in the CAA. “William & Mary gave me the opportunity to play linebacker. Towson would have moved me to defenisve end,” he said. “I wanted to stay at linebacker. That is all I played in high school” on defense.
The Tribe (4-3 overall, 2-2) hosts Towson (5-1, 3-0) on Saturday in its homecoming game. Trantin has a sister that went to Towson. Last Saturday, William & Mary won, 24-10, against New Hampshire and redshirt freshman wideout R.J. Harris, who is also from Odenton and played at Arundel High.
The Tribe plays in the CAA, which is considered the top Division I-A league in the country. Since 2003, four CAA teams have won national titles and three other teams lost in the title game. “Every game is a big game. There are a lot of ranked (teams) and good competition. It is good football,” Trantin said.
Trantin also played ice hockey in high school for Spalding and saw action at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena and the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. Now he has just four regular-season games left in his college football career.
“You always hope for more. There are four games left in college. If we win them all” the playoffs are possible, he said. “I am trying to get better.”
By David Driver, The Odenton Patch