The newest Redskin is cornerback Morgan Trent, who was claimed last week off waivers from Jacksonville. He started 41 games at Michigan before the Bengals made him a 6th-round draft pick in 2009. Last year he saw action for both the Colts and Jags.
Corner isn’t the deepest position for the ‘Skins these days and this guy has a great attitude and some intriguing potential. Peep this interview and get to know the man who’ll be trying to make “Dirty 30” clean again in DC.
BB: Welcome to DC, MoTrent! Gotta tell you, I’ve always been fascinated by people with first and last names that are both common first and last names. How often do people mistakenly call you Trent Morgan?
MT: Thanks. Glad to be in the DMV! I get called Trent Morgan so much that I contemplated officially changing it to Trent Morgan. It’s unbelievable to me how I can hand someone my license at the airport and they will ask me if it is Morgan Trent or Trent Morgan!
BB: Well, I promise we will not be making that mistake in DC. Cornerback is seen as a position lacking comfortable depth for the Redskins right now…what kind of corner are you and which specific skills will help you earn a roster spot and playing time?
MT: I like to think of myself as a corner that can do it all. I don’t call myself a cover corner or a zone corner. Obviously at 6’1” I’m a bigger corner so I want to use that towards my advantage and play physical, but I have the speed to play man coverage also.
BB: Let’s talk about that speed. I read that you ran some track in high school and college, with good success. Are you a burner? Could you take RGIII?
MT: Yeah I ran a lot of track in high school. Actually, the only time I’ve been to DC was my senior year in high school when I ran in the Nike Indoor Championship in Landover, MD. I ended up losing to Lashawn Merritt by .01 of a second in the 200. Lashawn has a gold medal under his belt now so I don’t feel as bad. RGIII definitely has some wheels. I’ll have to size him up some more before I tell you if I can take him or not. He still has those fresh college legs!
BB: 6’1” is still fairly tall for a corner these days. How does your height influence your game?
MT: I think it can really play to my advantage as long as I play big. I have to remind myself that I’m bigger than some of these receivers and need to use that and get my hands on them. One thing that receivers hate is having hands put on them.
BB: I found an article in The Detroit News that described you (at least during college) as “a gabby, physical corner who likes to boast, among other things, that he is the most fashionable player on the team.” Are you still a talker? Are you still fresh? Are you familiar with Fred Smoot?
MT: That’s funny because I don’t see myself that way at all…at least not anymore, that is. I’m sure in college I was “gabby” and liked to “boast” but I don’t think that fits me anymore. I like to have fun and talk a little but I’ve learned that, in the NFL, some of these guys are professional trash-talkers. I’m more laid back and like to let my play talk for me. I’m definitely still fresh. I don’t dress up much but when I do, I do. Don’t let the long hair fool you! And no I’ve never met Fred Smoot. I take it he was fresh?
BB: Yeah, you could say that. Check him out. Ask someone at the Park about Smoot Smack sometime. You were drafted by the Bengals in 2009 and played quite a bit as a rookie, but have bounced around the league a little over the past year. Is there anything in particular about the Redskins that seems like a better fit? Are you very familiar with any current players or coaches?
MT: I was blessed to have an opportunity to play a lot my first couple years in Cincinnati. There is nothing like having game experience, especially when you are young. For whatever reason, I’ve been bouncing around a little bit but I’m confident that the Redskins will give me an opportunity to show them my ability as well as my work ethic. All I can ever ask for is an opportunity. Obviously I’m familiar with Raheem Morris since he was a head coach that I played against. It’s been fun interacting with him. He brings a lot of excitement into the DB room.
BB: Looks like you picked up a few starts for the Jags at the end of 2011 and made an interception in each of the last two games. Jim Haslett’s defensive staff loves DBs that cause turnovers…do you consider that a strength?
MT: Yeah it was a great opportunity for me to be able to start the last couple games and make a few plays. You learn that to win games in this league, you have got to get the ball back for your offense. Turnovers change games and games change seasons.
BB: Well said. I can tell from your Twitter profile (@morgantrent30) that your faith is very important to you, and that you are active in youth ministry. Tell us something about that.
MT: Yes I am a strong believer in Jesus Christ and that He died for my sins. I consider it such an amazing blessing to play at this level and I do everything I can to take full advantage of the platform that comes with that. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than being able to speak into the lives of young people and tell them that, regardless of what they have been told or have experienced, God loves them and has a purpose for their lives. This is such a tough career and without my faith in the Lord, I probably would have lost my mind by now trying to figure it all out.
BB: I really admire your investment in the kids. What’s your idea of something fun to do on a day off?
MT: That’s easy…golf! I fell in love with golf a few years ago and can’t let it go. If I ever have a spare…4 hours…you will find me on the course. I’m actually on the way back home to ATL to play in a tournament tomorrow.
BB: Fairways and greens, my man. Is there anything else—anything at all—that you want to say to your many, many new fans in Redskin Nation?
I’d like to thank everybody for the warm welcome! I’m excited to be here! I can promise you that I will play my heart out every chance I get to put on that ‘Skins helmet.