He hasn’t been coaching for long, but Phil Trautwein is making quite a name for himself.
He might even be on the verge of getting himself a job with a program that has national title hopes.
The 33-year-old Boston College offensive line coach has reportedly “emerged as a top target” for Penn State, which is looking to replace Matt Limegrover as O-line coach, according to Yahoo! Sports college football writer Pete Thamel.
Sources: Boston College offensive line coach Phil Trautwein has emerged as a top target for the open offensive staff spot at Penn State. He’s declined interest from multiple SEC schools.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 3, 2020
This would be considered an off-the-board type of choice for Penn State. Trautwein has no discernable working ties to James Franklin or any of his staffers. He has only been coaching as a non-grad assistant for four seasons, two at Davidson and the last two with Steve Addazio at BC.
But, he’s a rising star in the coaching biz and Penn State isn’t the first program to try to lure him from Boston.
The analytics crowd loves him (maybe someday, we’ll delve into some of the reasons why), and in each of the last two seasons, four players who played for him landed on all-ACC teams. Former Golden Eagles tackle Chris Lindstrom, who played under Trautwein in 2018, was the 14th overall pick in the NFL Draft in 2019.
Trautwein would give Penn State the type of coach it doesn’t have (and one it frankly hasn’t employed under Franklin): One whose playing career ended relatively recently. He played in two BCS title games in 2007 and 2009, in ’09 as the blindside protector for Tim Tebow as Florida’s left tackle. He stuck around the pros for a few years, too, before going into the coaching ranks. Just a thought, but he may be someone who can relate to the players differently than the more veteran coaches.
What he has done in his two seasons with the Eagles, though, is make sure his linemen protect their quarterback. Boston College QBs were sacked just 11 times in 297 dropbacks, just 3.7 percent of the time, in 2019. In 2018, they were sacked 23 times in 360 dropbacks, just 6.4 percent.
Meanwhile, Penn State quarterbacks were sacked on 8 percent of their 401 “dropbacks” 2019 and 7.6 in 2018.
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT