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September 2020
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Dayton Flyers TE Adam Trautman picked in NFL Draft by New Orleans Saints

Adam Trautman 84 in action against Jacksonville (courtesy UD Athletics)

Drafted In The Third Round

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – All-American tight end Adam Trautman made University of Dayton football history Friday night when he became UD’s first non-scholarship player to be selected in the NFL draft.


Trautman was picked by the New Orleans Saints in the third round (105th overall selection).


Trautman, a 6-foot-6, 253 pound redshirt senior from Williamsburg, Mich., was the first Flyer chosen since the Seattle Seahawks selected offensive tackle Bill Westbeld in the 11th round of the 1977 draft.  Dayton completed the transition from scholarship to non-scholarship football to be eligible for the NCAA Division III playoffs the next season, and remained in Division III for 15 years.  Then, a change in NCAA regulations led to the creation of the Division I non-scholarship Pioneer Football League, and UD’s return to Division I football.


Trautman is only the third Flyer chosen as high as the third round, and is the highest NFL draft pick from UD since 1972, when Gary Kosins was picked in the third round (77th overall) by the Miami Dolphins.  Former Flyer Emil Karas was also picked in the third round, when the Washington Redskins took him with the 28th overall selection in the 1959 draft.


He is also the highest draft choice in the 27-year history of the Pioneer Football League.  The PFL’s prior top draft choice was San Diego’s Josh Johnson in the fifth round (160th overall) of the 2008 NFL draft.


“We’ve had a lot of good football players in my time here,” Flyer head coach Rick Chamberlin said.  “Young men come to the University of Dayton to get a great education and play for a winning football program.  But in my 45 years at UD as a player, assistant coach and head coach, we’ve never had anyone with the potential to make an impact at the next level that Adam Trautman has.


“The University gave Adam every opportunity fulfill his dreams with our facilities, support and the coaching in our program, but make no mistake about it – all credit goes to Adam for his commitment and the sacrifices he has made to take advantage of his God-given abilities and put him in this position.”


Trautman was named an All-American by all six major FCS All-America programs.  He was a finalist for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, which goes annually to the top offensive player in FCS football.  He was the only tight end on the Payton Award list.


Overlooked because of his Elk Rapids High School’s small size (there were 18 players on the team in his junior season, and 21 in his senior season), he came to Dayton as a record-setting quarterback.  He redshirted his freshman season, and moved from quarterback to tight end early in preseason camp that year.  Even though the first pass he ever caught in a game was not until his first college game, Trautman became the Flyers’ all-time leading receiver (178 catches, 2,295 yards, 31 TD).


The Flyer co-captain was UD’s Most Valuable Player and the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year this season.  He is the first tight end in PFL history to be named the league’s top offensive player.  (He is actually believed to be the first of any FCS league’s offensive player of the year, but research could not be completed.)


In 2019, he was the FCS’s top-rated tight end in receiving touchdowns (14), receptions (6.4 per game), receiving yards (916) and scoring (7.8 points per game). Overall, he was ranked among the FCS’s Top 50 in each of those categories, including third in the nation in receiving touchdowns.  He also ranked first or second in the PFL in each of the receiver categories.


Trautman finished his Dayton career with the school record for receptions in a season (70), TD catches in a season (14), career receptions (178) and career touchdown catches (31). He also set the Flyer mark for TD catches in a game when he caught four this season against Jacksonville.


His body of work earned him invitations to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, and his performances there solidified his draft position.  A total of 98 scouts visited campus to scout Trautman in 2019.  Every NFL team was represented, and most came multiple times.


Trautman led the Flyers to an 8-3 record in 2019.  UD finished tied for second in the PFL with a 6-2 league mark.


He earned his Electrical Engineering degree in December.



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