Trevathan back for more, ready to lead

In 2009, Danny Trevathan was named UK’s most improved defensive player by then-head coach Rich Brooks and his coaching staff. Trevathan followed that honor up with a monstrous 2010 season in recording 145 tackles, which not only led his team, but led the entire SEC. Since then, Trevathan’s football career has taken off.

Trevathan was named first-team All-SEC by numerous major college football media outlets, and he was even named a first-team All-American by

Just weeks before players reported for training camp, it was announced that Trevathan had been voted to the preseason first-team All-SEC squad by media present at SEC media days in July.

As the 2011 season begins, it is clear that Trevathan has become the face of head coach Joker Phillips’ defense, if not the entire program.

As co-defensive coordinator Rick Minter continues to install his new defensive system, players, coaches and fans alike have turned to Trevathan to be a leader of the defense both on and off the field.

“At the beginning of camp it was kind of a hard transition,” Trevathan said. “The support system that I have … really helped me get in the groove of  it and really helped me establish myself as a leader and being more vocal.”

Trevathan, a senior, was eligible to declare for the 2011 NFL draft following his junior season in 2010, but he decided to return to UK. He will play every snap under an intense microscope with teammates, coaches, fans, media and even pro scouts watching his every move.

In order to succeed and follow through on the hype, Trevathan will have to ignore all those watching him and focus on the task at hand, improving the Cats’ defense and leading his team to its sixth consecutive bowl appearance out of an SEC that features eight teams in the national preseason AP and coaches’ polls.

Perhaps Trevathan will take a piece of advice that Minter bestowed upon him earlier this offseason.

“He told me being a leader is like being like an eagle,” Trevathan said. “Eagles fly alone. They’re not worried about what other people think about them. They’re just out there flying around and just soaring the earth. You’ve got to be able to stand alone, leaders stand alone.”

But the rest of the defense will be behind him.

“I think this can be a special defense,” Trevathan said. “Kentucky is always picked near last and it’s time for us to take charge.”