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Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2012

Auburn football: Barrett Trotter seeks NFL chance at Tigers' pro day after thinking his career was done

- jerickson@ledger-enquirer.com
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AUBURN, Ala. -- When Barrett Trotter stepped onto the field to take over for an injured Clint Moseley in the early stages of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, he thought he was playing the final football game of his career.

He already had his degree. At the time, he thought his mind was made up.

Even after Trotter turned in the most memorable performance of his Auburn career to help lead the Tigers to a 43-24 Chick-fil-A-Bowl win over Virginia, he was sure he had made the right decision to move on with his life.

“At that time, I was,” Trotter said. “I knew I wasn’t going to play. I didn’t know exactly what was next.”

That final performance, when he completed 11-of-18 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 32 yards and helped kick-start a dominant offensive performance, put the perfect ending on Trotter’s collegiate career.

“I knew I wasn’t going to come back after the bowl game,” Trotter said. “To end like that was the cherry on top.”

For a little while, he thought he had left -- until Trotter started to get the itch to see what professional football might offer. Unsure of his decision, Trotter talked to a few people he trusts, who told him there was nothing wrong with giving football one more try.

“I just thought about later in life, if I’m going to regret not giving it a shot,” Trotter said. “It’s something I talked with several people about. They encouraged me to go ahead and give it a shot.”

Trotter announced his decision to forgo his senior season in late January. Right around the same time, he started training in Nashville to participate in Auburn’s pro day on Tuesday at its indoor practice facility in front of roughly a dozen NFL scouts.

Trotter measured 6-feet, 215 pounds -- 28 of the NFL’s 32 starting quarterbacks are taller than 6-2 -- ran the 40 in an unofficial 4.82 seconds and went through a set of positional drills designed to see whether he has the tools to run an NFL offense.

He also got a chance to talk to scouts.

But trying to gauge an NFL team’s interest at this stage in the draft process can be difficult.

“I’m not going to read into it,” Trotter said. “The feedback I’ve gotten so far from different scouts and coaches and people I’ve talked to has been complimentary of today and what I did.”

Trotter was one of 10 underclassmen to declare early who were not invited to the NFL’s annual Scouting Combine in February in Indianapolis.

He knows he’s not one of the top-rated prospects.

But before he hangs up his cleats for good, Trotter, who has a degree in communications, wants to see whether there is any other future in football before moving on to his next step in life.

“As far as what I’m going to do after this is all over?” Trotter said. “I have no idea. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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