Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

There's more to Mitchell RB Trinidad than nice moves

When the line gives Mitchell RB Ricky Trinidad an opening, he’s going to take it. “I see the holes well,” the junior says.

ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES | Special to Times

When the line gives Mitchell RB Ricky Trinidad an opening, he’s going to take it. “I see the holes well,” the junior says.

TRINITY — Mitchell running back Ricky Trinidad might very well lead the North Suncoast this fall in eye-opening runs, but where most are taken aback by his electrifying moves, those who share the huddle with him aren't.

"Not anymore," Mustangs offensive lineman Ryan Brosnan said.

Having played alongside Trinidad the past few seasons, and in Brosnan's case since they were kids, Trinidad's teammates have seen it all — from his 80-yard bursts to his shakes and spins.

"I've never played with one better," Brosnan said. "All you have to do is open up a little hole, and he finds it."

This season, the line has opened many. And the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Trinidad, a junior, has done the rest.

Entering Friday night's Class 3A, District 7 showdown at home against Land O'Lakes, a game in which the winner clinches a playoff spot, Trinidad has rushed for 1,192 yards — a total that leads Pasco County by a wide margin. He also ranks first in rushing touchdowns with 15.

Now consider this:

Trinidad has done his damage on only 143 carries; he averages 8.3 yards a rush.

"I don't see solo tackles on Ricky," said Hudson coach Mark Nash. "It would take a man to tackle him solo. If you don't get 11 hats on him, he's going to make you pay."

The key to Trinidad's success is no great mystery. It's that he does everything rather well.

"I'm pretty versatile," Trinidad said.

That's an understatement.

For starters, he is faster than most of those trying to tackle him. Last spring, he was a member of Mitchell's 4x400 conference champion relay squad in addition to being a standout in the 200 meters (he was a second-team all-county pick).

"He has elite speed," Nash said.

And even better moves, one could argue.

"I've never seen a running back that can cut as fast as he can and accelerate from 0 to 60 as fast as he can," Mitchell coach Brian Wachtel said. "He runs with a passion."

Vision is another Trinidad trait. "I see the holes well," he said.

Then there's his toughness.

People talk about his touchdown runs, but Trinidad takes just as much pride in the fact he always fights for extra yards, feet and even inches. His legs don't stop churning until the play is over.

"People say I'm not that physical," Trinidad said. "They think I'm just a speed back. They think if I get hit, I'm going to fold."

Trinidad's greatest assets, however, might not be of the physical nature, but his work ethic and desire to win. In the weight room, Trinidad has committed to getting stronger. In his free time, he runs alone. For meals, he often chugs a protein shake.

Last week, a minor back injury sidelined Trinidad against Pasco, which went on to win the district. He didn't dress for the game (Mitchell's only loss), but at halftime approached his coach and begged to let him put on a uniform and play, if only to give his teammates an emotional lift.

His request was denied, but the message was clear.

"He's a special player," Wachtel said.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at

There's more to Mitchell RB Trinidad than nice moves 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 7:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Five undrafted rookies to watch in Bucs training camp


    Rookies report today for Bucs training camp, with veterans joining in Thursday and the first practice Friday morning, and with HBO's "Hard Knocks" chronicling this year's camp, there's always an interest in the underdog storyline of undrafted rookies trying to make the 53-man roster.

    Bucs linebacker Richie Brown, an undrafted rookie trying to make Tampa Bay's roster this preseason, is shown during last year's St. Petersburg Bowl after he recovered a fumble for Mississippi State.
  2. Rays morning after: The bats have disappeared



    Center fielder Mallex Smith reacts after striking out swinging in the seventh inning.
  3. Bryan Harper's path to the majors, where his brother is a star, has been bumpy

    The Heater

    He has thrown 215 professional innings over 168 minor-league outings, and at various points the kid from Las Vegas has called Viera and Hagerstown, Md., and Harrisburg, Pa. and Syracuse, N.Y., and even Arlington, Va. home. During that summer he lived in the D.C. suburbs, he would rise some mornings with his brother in …

  4. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  5. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)