Film Room: 2021 Tight End Michael Trigg
I cannot remember watching film of a more position-versatile player from the class of 2020 or 2021 than Tampa (Fla.) Seffner Christian athlete Michael Trigg. The length and athleticism stand out, but so does fantastic hand-eye coordination. Those may not even be his best attribute.
Trying to pin down the most likely position for a player like Trigg is nearly impossible. He’s as close to the perfect size (6-4, 215) for several positions - wide receiver, flex tight end, outside linebacker, weak side defensive end - that college coaches will just want to get him to their respective school.
Notre Dame does not land enough players like Trigg. Yes, Notre Dame signs athletes that can play multiple positions, but few with his length and quickness that he could play wide receiver or linebacker. That’s a rare combination.
Here’s how I rank him based on both his Hudl film, and watching him play basketball Friday night. In order, this would be his strengths.
Yes, feet. Trigg possesses the short-area quickness to play all the positions listed above because of his foot quickness. On the gridiron, sometimes coaches can hide a player’s inadequacies, but on the court, it’s much more difficult. That’s why I wanted to see Trigg play hoops.
He can play man defense versus smaller guards or body-up a post player and reject a shot. Most importantly, he made it clear that changing direction and exploding upwards to rebound or block a shot was no problem. That’s a natural trait that cannot be taught. You’ve got it or you don’t.
Some football recruits play basketball because they like it; few can play Division I basketball as well as Division I football. Trigg possesses that talent without question. Again, it starts with his feet.
Trigg is a very good basketball player. He plays aggressively, which heightens the impact of physical talent. It was easy to see why so many college football programs already offered him just by watching him play basketball.
On the gridiron, Trigg’s long arms make him difficult to maneuver past or to defend. He’s at least 6-3, and listed at 6-4. More importantly, watching him from the stands Friday night, he’s very long. I’d guess his wing span is that of a person standing 6-6 or taller. Football is a game of inches.
If you are a quarterback throwing over the middle of the field, the last thing you want is trying to throw a ‘level 2’ ball over the wing span of player that’s essentially 6-6 without also throwing the ball too far and into the arms of the free safety.
Those tight-window throws by the likes of Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers can be a thing of beauty, but that’s why they are the best in the world and play in the National Football League. Not many college quarterbacks will consistently make those passes. College offensive coordinators know it, too. That’s why you see teams constantly throwing screen to the perimeter and passes outside the hash marks. Much safer. Trigg adds an extra level of difficulty with his length.
Notre Dame defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Clark Lea is especially interested in long athletes that he can move around. He loves long and athletic linebackers for his scheme whether it is the Shark position (Julian Okwara and Daelin Hayes) or the Rover position (Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah). Trigg could play either, in theory. That leads to an interesting concept.
Much was made of Clemson safety/linebacker Isaiah Simmons moving from safety to linebacker to defensive end. He literally played all three. That’s why he’s a possible top 15 pick in the NFL Draft this upcoming April. While I am not going to say Trigg will be Simmons, he’s a versatile player in that same type of body.
It’s advantageous for a defensive coordinator like coach Lea to be able to move around his best players. That’s what coach Lea did with safety Alohi Gilman this past year, and look for Owusu-Koramoah to do the same next year.
It’s a way to keep offensive coordinators off balance. Players like Trigg are rare because walking into college it will be obvious that you can move him around. It’s really difficult for an offensive coordinator to prepare for when he does not know where a star player will line up.
Wide Receiver and Tight End
Trigg could be a match up nightmare as a big wide receiver. Think of A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans. He played at Ole Miss and tore up the SEC. Now he’s doing the same in the NFL. Big wide receivers are always a hot commodity. Maybe Brown plays wide receiver, depending on the school he chooses.
What stood out about Trigg’s gridiron film would be his hands. He’s like a magnet. The ball just sticks to him during the most difficult plays. Adding into the equation his length and physical stature, Trigg is a tough match up in the red zone. He simply posts up defensive backs in the corner of the end zone and his hands do the rest of the work. It’s six.
If Trigg wants to add weight, he could be a flex tight end. He’d need to get up to 240-pounds or more, but his frame will easily allow for that just like with linebacker. The only question with tight end stems from blocking. Most schools would be more interested in his pass catching skills anyway. Trigg’s Hudl film:
Trigg is the type of player that most college coaches want. Talented, versatile, and athletic. He could play numerous positions. It would be shocking if the Notre Dame offensive and defensive staff did not fight over which position he plays if he decides to sign with Notre Dame.
With that, Notre Dame would do quite well to sign Trigg. He’s an elite athlete with an incredible amount of potential. I believe linebacker is his best long-term position (regardless of school) because he’s a match up offensive coordinators hate, but I can also see why a team plays him at wide receiver or flex tight end.
If I could possibly combine two Notre Dame players from the past and current rosters, I would go with former Irish and New York Giant great Justin Tuck and Owusu-Koramoah. He’s almost idential in size to Tuck when he signed with Notre Dame (6-4, 217) coming out of Kellyton (Ala.) in 2001, yet he plays the pass and run very similar to the way current Irish future NFL linebacker Owusu-Koramoah does for the Irish.
That’s a very good combination.