In Trevor Radosevich’s first year as a starter on Penn’s offensive line, he was the young player, receiving guidance from older mentors. Now, Radosevich, in his fifth year as a Quaker and third as a starter, is the mentor leading the line from the inside out. But it’s not just the linemen around Radosevich that have changed — the veteran center has grown, too.
“Sophomore year … I was the young guy in the group. I was the only sophomore that was playing on the line,” Radosevich said with a smile. “[But by] last year, I was the old guy. So in the span of two seasons, I flipped from being the youngest guy with the least experience to being the oldest guy with the most experience.”
After not playing at all during his freshman year, Radosevich first saw action on the offensive line in 2019. That year, the Quakers gave up just 1.6 sacks per game, good enough for second in the Ivy League and to be in the top quarter of the FCS.
But despite the line’s success, Radosevich insists that much of that year was spent learning.
“Sophomore year, I was still learning the calls,” he said. “We had a first team All-Ivy left tackle that I would lean on as a crutch when I didn't know what was going on.”
The left tackle Radosevich mentioned is Greg Begnoche, a three-year starter who helped anchor Penn’s offensive line from the right and then left tackle spots. With Begnoche’s help, Radosevich felt confident that he could handle a center’s responsibilities going into his junior season.
In Penn’s offense, the center plays a crucial role in the offense. Every play, the center calls out the defensive front and identifies a linebacker in order to coordinate the offensive line’s assignments.
“He is deciding who we block every play based on the calls he makes,” offensive line coach Kyle Metzler said. “What I tell [the other linemen] is, as long as he makes a call, we're all doing it the way that he says to do it.”
Metzler complimented Radosevich’s calls, specifically highlighting his understanding of safety rotations and where linebackers are positioned to call the correct protections.
“Playing offensive line is like a puzzle,” Metzler said. “Every time you’re at the line of scrimmage you have to solve the puzzle and fix problems, and [Radosevich]’s a fixer who can get us going in the right direction.”
Radosevich added that his calls have improved, while crediting the 2020 season — when the Ivy League football season was canceled due to COVID-19 — and Metzler for helping his development.
“During the [COVID-19] year … I spent a lot of time on the film watching defensive backs [and] studying the safety rotations,” he said. “[Metzler] realized that I could elevate my game more by learning all of that … so he helped me out with it.”
But it isn’t just his skills at the line of scrimmage that Radosevich has improved in. Metzler noted how big a personality Radosevich is in the locker room, even as the veteran center joked with a teammate, sophomore offensive lineman Bo Sprague, in the background. But despite the fun, Radosevich is still the leader of the unit.
“I’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth in his leadership,” Metzler said. “He get[s] people accountable to the standard that we've set as an offense [and] as a team.”
Now in his fifth year, Radosevich knows that his time at Penn is approaching its end. But regardless of whatever is going on around him, he’s taking things week by week and is focused on what has motivated him all along: improvement.