10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 8, 2006
Trent follows coach's footsteps
By John Geise
Daily Sports Writer
In an era of specialization, Morgan
Trent is an anomaly.
A rising star in the Michigan foot-
ball secondary, the sophomore corner-
back doubles as a sprinter on the track
team. After redshirting both the indoor
and outdoor seasons last year, Trent
finally made his debut as a runner,
placing sixth in the 200-meter dash
at the Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup in
State College on Feb. 11 with a time of
21.72. He earned his first collegiate win
the next week at the Harold Silverston
Invitational in Ann Arbor, when he ran
the 200-meter dash in 21.92.
"Right when the football season was
over, I started thinking about (run-
ning track)," Trent said. "I've always
wanted to, ever since I've been in col-
lege, but I wanted to establish myself
in football first."
Trent is not the only football player
on the track team - senior offensive
lineman Paul Sarantos competes in the
throwing events - but he is the only
runner. Trent's situation, however, is
surprisingly common in recent Wolver-
ine history. Many of the program's sto-
ried players, from Desmond Howard to
Braylon Edwards, participated in track
during their Michigan careers.
Tyrone Wheatley was one of the most
successful dual-sport athletes. He was
a running back for the football team
from 1991 to 1995, garnering three
All-Big Ten selections in that span. He
also hurdled and sprinted for the track
team. He was an NCAA All American
in 1995 and a Big Ten hurdles champi-
on in 1994. Now serving as a volunteer
track coach, Wheatley understands the
nature of what Trent is trying to do.
"Each story is different, and each
guy is different," Wheatley said. "If
you can run, you can come over (to
track) and be successful. You can't
teach speed, and Morgan is exception-
ally fast. If you are talented, it makes
the transition easier."
Even though Trent's transition
appears to have been relatively
smooth, there have been bumps
along the way. Balancing both sports
sometimes takes a toll on his time.
Whenever he wonders how to get it
all done, Trent has to look no further
than Wheatley for guidance.
"I definitely talk to Tyrone a lot,"
Trent said. "He's been there and
done that. He's there when I need
him. He has a lot of advice for me
about how to do both, in terms of
balancing heavy lifting for football
with running for track."
Trent's first love is football, but his
contributions to the track, team do
not go unnoticed. Sprint coach Fred
LaPlante, for one, is thankful Trent has
the desire to do both.
"We're just happy to have a guy of
his caliber out here," LaPlante said.
"We realize this is second priority,
although I think he really loves track.
As it gets past the indoor season, with
spring football and everything, I hope
he keeps up his enthusiasm for track. I
know the guys on this team love having
him out here."
Many football players have run
track, but few (with the notable excep-
tion of Wheatley) continued to do
so for their whole Michigan careers.
Trent hopes that with the consent of
the football and track coaches he can
be one of them.
"It's tough to do both, but we are
making it happen," Trent said. "If
all the coaches keep being ok with
it, and I continue to stay healthy, I'd
love to do both."
Morgan Trent is one of two football players also on the track and field team.
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