PRCC’s Trevathan ready for challenge with Wildcats

Published 3:27 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

By Stan Caldwell

PRCC Sports Information

POPLARVILLE — Ryan Trevathan loves a challenge, and he has a big one on his hands at Pearl River Community College.

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Trevathan, 27, is the Wildcats’ new offensive coordinator, coming to PRCC after two seasons at Northeast Mississippi, and he inherits an offense without much experience returning in 2017.

“You know, they’re all young,” said Trevathan. “In this league you’re always playing with freshmen and sophomores.

“The good thing is, we have an experienced quarterback coming in, and that’s the key. We also have some offensive linemen returning with some playing time, so that’s big for us.”

Trevathan is a native of Jonesboro, Ark., and stayed home to attend Arkansas State, where he was an undergraduate assistant coach.

After his graduation from ASU in December, 2011, he followed Hugh Freeze to Ole Miss, where he spent three seasons as tight ends coach, the first two as a graduate assistant before becoming a full staff member in 2014.

During his time on the Rebel sideline, Ole Miss produced two of its three best offensive seasons in school history, including a record 6,153 yards in 2013, and he was instrumental in developing Evan Engram into a first-round NFL draft pick as a tight end.

“Working with Coach Freeze and his staff really prepared me for how to coach young men up and be successful,” Trevathan said. “Then going to Northeast Mississippi and getting my first taste of being an offensive coordinator.

“I feel like with the staff we have we that we can do a lot of the same things we did there.”

New Wildcat head coach Ted Egger is convinced that Trevathan will be a solid addition to the Pearl River staff, which returns intact from last season, with the exception of former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Cleo Lemon, who left PRCC for a similar position at Jacksonville State.

“Ryan brings a lot of experience in this conference, where he had a lot of success as offensive coordinator at Northeast,” said Egger. “We’re excited to have him. He’s really taking on a big challenge, but I think he’ll have our kids where they need to be when it’s time to kick off.”

Trevathan got a look at PRCC in the season opener last year, when the Wildcats played at Booneville, a game the Tigers won 17-14.

“I thought they had a lot of talent on the field (last season),” said Trevathan. “Then I came down for a visit, not knowing what to expect, and the place just blew me away.

“When you see the rich history of the program, the national titles and the state championships, I just thought everything was in place to get back to that level.”

To do that, though, Trevathan will have to build an offense pretty much from scratch. PRCC will have a sophomore at quarterback in Justin Agner, but he is a transfer from Kent State.

Pearl River does return sophomore Timothy Arnold, the former Bassfield standout who was pressed into service at quarterback last season and played well.

Arnold completed 62 of 106 passes (58.5 percent) for 799 yards and nine touchdowns, with seven interceptions, and he also netted 194 yards rushing and two scores.

This year, Arnold will line up as a wide receiver, and the Wildcats will try to get him the ball as much as possible.

“I thought he did a great job in a tough situation,” said Trevathan. “I watched all of the games from last season, and he is just electric with his athletic ability. Plus, he has great leadership qualities that will be huge for us this season.”

Although Trevathan made his initial reputation in an Ole Miss offense that relied heavily on the tight end, Egger said Trevathan will structure an offense based on the personnel the Wildcats have in place.

“I believe you have to build your offense around what you have available,” said Egger.

“We really like the work that Coach (Terrance) Metcalf has done with our offensive line, and we have a lot of experience there that will make what we do offensively a lot easier.”

As it happens, the Wildcats once again open the season against Northeast, Aug. 31at Dobie Holden Stadium, and Trevathan admitted that it will feel a little funny coaching against his former team.

“I’m already nervous about it,” said Trevathan. “I recruited a lot of those kids and those coaches are my friends. It’s not something you ever want to do, but that’s part of the game. I hope to win, then I’ll cheer them on the rest of the year.”