Trevathan's legacy for Kentucky football, and his hits, will be felt

jsmith3@herald-leader.comNovember 25, 2011 

Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan ranks fourth in the nation in tackles with 135. He's had 17 tackles in three of his last four games.

MARK CORNELISON

Lost in a jumble of clichés is a phrase that haunts.

When asked what he hopes Kentucky fans will remember about Danny Trevathan, the senior linebacker hits all the talking points about giving his all and being a hard worker.

Then he pauses for a second and says: "I just hope people remember me."

It's a humble phrase from a humble player who has meant everything to the Kentucky defense.

He has been the team's leader in tackles each of the last two seasons — "its heart," Trevathan's head coach called him earlier this season.

But it's easy to see how Trevathan could feel so forgettable.

Despite leading the Southeastern Conference in tackles each of the last two seasons, he was overlooked for the nation's top linebacker award.

Since that Butkus Award finalist snub nearly a month ago, Trevathan has managed a whopping 58 tackles, including 41/2 for a loss, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.

His 135 tackles this season are fourth in the nation.

In three of his last four games, he has tied his career high for tackles with 17. Trevathan, who said he never counts tackles until the game is over, isn't too concerned about his umbers.

"I've just been playing my game, not looking at tackles," he said. "I really just want to get the 'W,' the win."

But now that he's been asked about it repeatedly, the senior who will be honored at Commonwealth Stadium before UK's game against Tennessee on Saturday said he'd like to get that 18th tackle.

Maybe more.

"I guess I'm stuck on 17 for a while now," he said. "I'm just going to keep trying to go higher. This game being my last game, hopefully, I'll be able to get past it."

Maybe if he gets to 18, people will remember him, award-list committees will sit up and take notice.

His teammates definitely know Trevathan is there.

"When he has great games, it's like, 'Hey, thanks, man. Great job,' " fellow senior defender Ronnie Sneed said. "He's a great player, and we respect Danny and what he does."

His coaches hope the NFL stands up and takes notice.

UK Coach Joker Phillips listed all the things professional teams will look at when assessing Trevathan and other players trying to play on Sundays.

They'll measure his height. They'll measure his wingspan and his vertical jump.

They'll measure how fast he can run from one spot to the next and how quickly he makes a decision with the ball in the air.

"It'll come down to size and all of those things," Phillips said. "But it's hard to measure heart. If you measured heart, (Randall Cobb) last year would have been first pick. ... They don't measure that."

But Phillips is confident of something that Trevathan isn't.

He's confident that the senior who's recorded 366 tackles so far in his career with one game to go, will be remembered.

Trevathan will be remembered by Cats fans, and he'll be remembered by football fans as one of the NFL greats:

"He'll play for a long time," Phillips assured.

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