|Norfolk State’s Lynden Trail has been catching passes during Senior Week practice. (Twitter.com)|
The NFL Draft hasn’t been kind to HBCU prospects as of late, but don’t expect that to hold Lynden Trail back. The 6’6, 262 pound Norfolk State defensive end/linebacker prospect is starting to turn heads early in the NFL Draft prep process.
Trail, who originally signed with Florida out of high school, has turned heads during Senior Bowl practice this week. He’s getting looks from a lot of teams, and not just as an edge rusher. Trail has also impressed at tight end this week.
A standout among the linebacker group because of his size (6-foot-6 1/4, 262 pounds) and play, Trail was certainly somebody who flashed Wednesday. He’s long, but moves well and does a solid job of dropping into space while also being stout enough at the point of attack if a run comes his way. “He had some good reps in one-on-ones,” Jeremiah said. “He was surprisingly good in coverage, too, and did some good stuff.”
A standout in football as a high school start at Booker T. Washington in Florida, Trail signed with Florida under head coach Urban Meyer. After redshirting as a freshman, Trail failed to get any playing
“I felt I was working hard and I was getting overlooked,” Trail told NFL Draft Scouts. “once I saw I wasn’t getting the playing time that I thought I deserved, I decided to transfer.”
Trail said he decided he liked the family atmosphere and the academics.
“They have one of the top Mass Comm programs,” Trail said. “Not just in HBCUs, but in the nation.”
In addition to racking up sacks and breaking up pass plays, Trail also showed his pass catching skills at Norfolk State. As a senior, he caught three passes for nine yards and three touchdowns while lining up as a goal-line tight end, a la Lynden Trail.
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was definitely impressed by his versatility.
“The more that they can do is always beneficial to them,” Bradley told Jacksonville.com. “So, to see him play tight end, the defensive side, special teams. A guy with that size and length is unique. If you have a chance to show his athletic ability, that’s something every team wants to see.”
As of late, HBCU products have been getting picked later and later in the NFL Draft, with rarely any getting picked within the first three rounds. Trail, the first Norfolk State player selected to the Senior Bowl, doesn’t seem to be worried about it.
“If you can play ball,” Trail said, “they’ll be able to pick you out of the crowd.”
Looks like his words are starting to ring true.