By Jarrod Harris
Times West Virginian
Adjusting to the speed of the game.
Ex-Fairmont Senior High School Polar Bear standout Trevor Malnick is adjusting well in the college ranks.
So far this season, Malnick has disrupted opposing teams’ offenses, while giving Fairmont State a reliable strong-side outside linebacker.
“I just had the chance, and I took advantage of my situation,” said Malnick. “If I never received the opportunity from coach (Mike) Lopez and my other coaches, I wouldn’t have even been able to showcase my talent.”
During the first game of Malnick’s career, Lopez was in desperate need of an outside linebacker who was smart enough to learn the defense, but fast and strong enough to play at a high level.
“I’m pretty comfortable with the defense because we run a 3-3-5 stack,” Malnick said. “My keys are to determine the strengths of the field and where’s my help and where I have to fit in with the help. With this kind of defense, communication is key at this level.”
During the first game of Malnick’s career, he noticed a bit of a change from just a season ago when he played in Class AAA for Fairmont Senior.
“Coming from high school where a lot of times I was bigger and faster than the kids I was competing against, compared to now, where the kids are a lot bigger and a lot faster, I’ve noticed a big change,” Malnick said. “There are kids running 4.4s and 4.5s. It’s hard to adapt at first, but it’s slowed down a lot with me getting the opportunity of being around the fast pace day in and day out.”
In his first college career football game against Clarion, Pa., Malnick played the majority of the snaps at outside linebacker, while notching two tackles.
The following game versus Glenville State, Malnick was determined to step up his game, while playing with anger and a determination to enforce pain upon the opposing team’s running backs.
“I just basically went out there and tried to cause ruckus,” Malnick said while grinning ear to ear. “They are our rival and we hate each other, so it was a big game for us.”
During the Glenville State game, Malnick tallied nine tackles, two going for negative yardage.
Because of his efforts against the Pioneers, he earned himself team “Defensive Player of the Week” honors.
Now that Malnick is one of the best defensive players on the Fairmont State football squad, his job is to become better throughout his tenure with the football team.
“As of now, since I’ve developed into a starter, I’m just trying to keep my spot as a starter and have it carry on through next year,” said Malnick. “Also, I want to keep getting better game by game.”
Malnick and the rest of the Fighting Falcon football play today versus West Liberty at home beginning at 1 p.m.
“Against West Liberty, I want us to come out and play hard off the ball,” Malnick said. “We need to pressure the quarterback and stop the run, so we can allow our offense to have time to score some points. Hopefully, we can leave the day with a win.”
Email Jarrod Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JarrodHarrisTWV.