'Motor man' hustles into draft

BY CODY GOODWIN | MAY 01, 2015 5:00 AM

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The buzzword that’s often associated with Louis Trinca-Pasat is “high-motor.” It might be best exemplified when he sacked Northwestern’s Kain Colter to preserve a 17-10 overtime victory in October 2013.

You probably remember that play: Trinca-Pasat had an unmarked path to sack Colter but whiffed. Trinca-Pasat immediately jumped back up and chased Colter until he wrapped him up and put him firmly on the ground. The Iowa bench erupted, and Kinnick rejoiced; that sack sealed the victory.

It is the perfect image of how Iowa fans should remember the Chicago native; it was seemingly the go-to description when his teammates and coaches were asked about him.

Fellow defensive lineman Carl Davis said, “His work ethic is what makes him so good. He works his tail off, day in and day out.”

Defensive line coach Reese Morgan said, “He’s earned the respect of everybody in our group — and hopefully on the team — by his style of play.”

Former middle linebacker Quinton Alston noted, “I try to mimic his leadership, and motor, and just the way he does things on and off the field.”

That portrait is following him to the professional ranks as well — and could very well be the reason Trinca-Pasat gets a good look at the next level. He is expected to hear his name get called in his hometown over the weekend at the NFL draft, likely on Saturday between the fourth and seventh rounds.

But his high motor will only get him so far, at least on paper. Draft experts have poked plenty of holes in Trinca-Pasat’s game, often citing his size, arm length, and lack of power as reasons he isn’t among the premier defensive linemen in this year’s draft.

“More of a pest than a consistent disruptor,” wrote Rob Rang of CBS Sports. “Too frequently loses to size and power at the line of scrimmage, getting knocked back when run at. Short arms give him limited opportunity to grab hold of ball carriers when he is able to penetrate.”

That, of course, is not the prettiest picture of a guy who racked up 69 tackles (including 11.5 for a loss), 6.5 sacks, and three quarterback hits during his senior season with the Hawkeyes.

Those numbers are pretty outstanding when compared with teammates Drew Ott and Carl Davis. Trinca-Pasat’s total number of stops are 12 more than any other defensive lineman who played for Iowa last season, and he made himself a part of so many plays because of (you guessed it) his high motor — that buzzword that many experts gush over when asked about the 6-1, 290-pound lineman.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said, “He works inside the construct of a defensive scheme exceptionally well, and defensive coaches will love his hustle.”

Rang (yes, the same one that knocked him for his size) said,  “Surprisingly quick given his frame and can disrupt by splitting gaps. Terrific effort in pursuit.”

Dane Brugler, of NFLDraftScout.com said, “Carl Davis receives most of the attention, and with good reason, on Iowa’s interior defensive line, but Trinca-Pasat has some encouraging tape the last two seasons. … although he doesn’t have Davis’ anchor or strength, he shows better quickness and range.”

Trinca-Pasat will need to continue to work his tail off if he is to make a solid living in the NFL — which is fine; most college football players must adjust, in one form or another, to stay in the league.

But, as CBS Sports also noted, Trinca-Pasat’s “quickness, power, and relentlessness could, however, earn him a role in a rotation.”

In other words, that high motor will be the reason Trinca-Pasat gets drafted; the rest will be up to him.

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