Your first job interview out of college is usually filled with stress as you try to land on your feet and hit the ground running.
For UW-Whitewater’s Nate Trewyn, his first interview is a bit different, and it requires him to literally hit the ground running as he awaits potential selection in the 2019 NFL Draft when it starts April 25.
The NFL first started to get on Trewyn’s radar as he was practicing during his junior season at Whitewater. He started to notice an increase of traffic at practice from NFL teams.
“Last year when the Vikings and Bears came to test me out it became real, and then in fall camp when the Cowboys came right in and talked to me,” said Trewyn. “It’s not something that you expect, so it was cool.”
After a dominating senior season which was highlighted by visits from numerous NFL scouts, winning the 2019 Rimington Award for the Division III’s top center, and his team reaching the NCAA national semifinals, it was clear that Trewyn had at bare minimum a chance to make it to the next level.
The dream really became more of a reality when Trewyn was the lone DIII representative in the prestigious NFL Players Association Bowl game, which turned to be a great proving ground for the Milton native.
“At the NFLPA game I went up against some SEC and ACC guys, and after sizing up with them I felt that I belonged, and it came natural,” said Trewyn.
His performance in Pasadena only furthered the buzz around Trewyn’s potential in the NFL, but it would be only his second test in front of NFL personnel.
Trewyn had another opportunity to prove himself at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pro day in March.
There was a little extra motivation for Trewyn heading into Madison as NFL scouts looked at four highly touted Badgers offensive linemen, who lined up next to Trewyn.
Owen Riese of Bucky’s 5th Quarter, who focuses on the NFL Draft, was excited to see Trewyn’s size and athleticism next to the Badgers offensive lineman prospects.
“He will look right in place, he has good athleticism for an interior lineman,” said Riese. “He wouldn’t be the first small school player to make it from this pro day.”
Trewyn showed off his diverse skill-set throughout the workout in front of all 32 NFL teams, putting up 26 reps in the bench press, running 5.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 7.39 in the three-cone drill, jumping 28.5” in the vertical, 101” in the broad, and running the short shuttle in 6.69 seconds.
During the position drills at the combine, Trewyn came into his own, showcasing his footwork and agility, explosion out of his stance and making brute impact at the point of attack while maintaining the fundamentals that help him maneuver men larger than him.
“I think a big attribute of mine is my athleticism. Being able to show that off, and my strength is what I am working on showing off,” said Trewyn after his pro day.
Since the combine, Trewyn has been continuing to get his body NFL ready with his long-time trainer Brad Fitzke at Athlete X Factory in Janesville, and meeting with teams before the draft hoping to garner enough interest from a team to be the first WIAC offensive lineman to be selected since 1991, when Pete Lucas of UW-Stevens Point was drafted in the tenth round to the Atlanta Falcons.
Since Trewyn was invited to the NFLPA game and performed well in the Pro Day, talks have turned from undrafted free agent to potential draft pick. Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com discussed Trewyn in his Under the Radar Small School Offense prospects, stating that the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have all displayed noticeable interest.
Another good sign for Trewyn is the lack of centers available in the draft.
Trewyn played nearly every game in college at center and finished as Division III’s top center.
Although he will be drafted as a guard/center combo, his ability to snap the ball may intrigue a team enough to lock him up with a draft pick rather than banking on signing him in free agency.
Trewyn is prepared for either result and is represented by the same agent as former Warhawk and current Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jake Kumerow.
Kumerow was also a fringe draft prospect when he entered the draft in 2015 after a standout career with the Warhawks. Kumerow went undrafted and bounced around NFL practice squads before he landed a contract with the Green Bay Packers and signed an executive rights deal for the 2019 season.
Although there is a lot of stress and anticipation for draft day, Trewyn has been able to do what he loves most.
“I’ve been able to live out my dream trying to get drafted from going to the NFLPA game and Wisconsin’s pro day,” Trewyn said. “It’s been an honor.”
Trewyn plans on watching the draft with his family, but once he figures out where his journey will begin, he’ll likely head to a rookie mini-camp and OTA’s in May and June preparing for NFL training camp in late July and hopefully will earn a roster spot from there.
No matter what happens in Nashville at the NFL Draft next weekend, Trewyn’s dreams are being lived and history is being made.