Fans of Oregon State Football often referred to the Beavers as Linebacker U because of the great linebackers that OSU had during their rise to prominence in the 2000’s. Throughout the first decade of this century, the Beavers paraded All-Conference Linebackers and NFL Draft picks around the Reser Stadium every Saturday. One of those linebackers was Trent Bray. While not the fastest or biggest player, Coach Bray made a living of being at the right place at the right time. It was not luck, but rather a deep understanding of the position and studying his opponents so much that he knew where the ball was going before it was snapped.
Trent also has been a linebacker coach for the last five years and has coached two All Conference players at Arizona State. Mostly he was able to take some very inexperienced players on his team last year and get them ready to play when the starting three were decimated by injuries. The growth of Jabral Johnson and Rommel Mageo not only got them valuable experience but had them prepared to contribute when called on. The detail oriented player is also a detail oriented coach and makes sure his players are mentally prepared for every opponent.
Bray is young and on his way up in the coaching world. His players respond to him and he has managed to noticeably improve the play of Michael Doctor and DJ Alexander, moving them in to position to get all conference honors next year. With the transition to a 3-4 defense on the horizon, there is a lot of opportunity at Oregon State.
Coach Bray is getting the most out of his freshmen and getting them ready to play right away. That is something anyone that wants to come to a school and see the field early will benefit from. As is the case with many Oregon State coaches, Bray also has experience in the NFL and overseas professional football as a player, so he has first hand knowledge on what is required to make it in those leagues. The culture being generated at Oregon State is an NFL preparation culture and Bray fits in that mold well.