Trey Bedosky should have been nervous in the moments leading up to UAB’s season opener.
The sophomore offensive lineman was not only preparing for his initial college football start, but, at least for the first game, he was replacing NFL prospect Kadeem Telfort at left tackle. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill.
But a funny thing happened to the nerves. They never really showed up. He had a couple of early false start penalties but said that was more about “not being locked in.” In this case, preparation took precedence over nervousness.
“I’ve been practicing spring, summer and fall camp, working just if that happens,” Bedosky said. “For me, I wasn’t too shocked, I just had to step up and do my thing. Coach Cam [Blankenship] has always said there shouldn’t be a drop-off between me and Telly. And Telly has always pushed me to be where he is. I want to be as good as him. In my mind, I say I am as good as him, so when I get in there, there shouldn’t be a drop-off.”
Bedosky was kind of groomed for a moment like this, long before he arrived in Birmingham. His father, Mike, was a four-year starter at Missouri and played in the NFL. He earned all-conference and All-American honors and was part of the 1990s All-Decade team at Missouri. Trey’s older brother, Steven, completed his college career at Coastal Carolina last season. He started 44 games during his college career.
Offensive line is the family business.
“It was huge,” Bedosky said of learning the position from his father. “He was a great mentor for us. He was there, always pushing us to be the greatest person we could be. He knew the potential we had, so through high school, he pushed me and my brother both. He coached us differently because we had different strengths. He coached me [at Landmark Christian in Fairburn, Georgia] all [the] way until my senior year, then it was more at home.”
The battles with his 6-foot-2, 280-pound brother also helped push the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Trey.
“Everything we did was competition,” Bedosky said. “We played backyard football, me and my brother, like it was tackle football. [Getting the final piece of food] started with rock, paper scissors and then it became a death match, pretty much.”
Bedosky had a chance to follow his brother to Coastal Carolina. The three-star prospect had more than 20 offers, in fact. He chose his own path.
“One thing about that kid, being heavily involved with him in recruiting, it’s important to him,” Blankenship said of Bedosky, who was about 255 pounds when he arrived. “He’s a guy that pays attention, not a guy you got to [snap your fingers at and say], 'Look at me.' From his first couple of years here, he was light. He’s still the 285, 290 range, which is not terrible for tall as he is. We’d always like you to be a little heavier, but you also need to be able to move.”
After a redshirt season, Bedosky got his first chance last season in the Rhino package. He took over that spot after Jakoby Jones moved to the offensive line because of an injury. He played in some big games – Marshall, UTSA and the Independence Bowl – and even played through a high ankle sprain suffered at San Antonio.
“As we talk about around here, you can’t buy experience, you have to gain experience,” said UAB head coach Bryant Vincent. “You have to be put into the fire and play. Trey playing in our Rhino package was very beneficial. He played in some big games.”
Bedosky ran with the first team at right tackle during spring practice because Sidney Wells was sidelined by an injury. In fall camp, he switched back and forth at both tackle spots.
“I rode him hard during camp, really for situations like that,” Blankenship said. “Obviously, losing Telly was something that hurt. I thought Trey did well. Telly is a generational talent to come through a school like this. Trey is a guy who I thought I could trust before the season, now I know I can trust to go into the game, go into a meaningful situation, and perform. That was the goal. He’s a starter. I don’t see him as an A2 anymore. He’s a guy who has played meaningful reps.”
Bedosky will return to the Rhino package this week with Telfort back in the lineup. If needed, though, he’s ready to play wherever he’s needed.
“Coach Cam operates [that way] with our offensive line,” Wells said. “He doesn’t treat anybody different, he tells everybody every day, ‘This could be you.’ The thing that Trey Bedosky does well is he pays attention, he knows exactly where to be, what to do. I felt like Trey was ready for the moment. Really anybody in the offensive line room can be ready for the moment.”
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