Nate Trewyn knew he was flying to London on Thursday night for work.
But as the day progressed, his responsiblities got much bigger, and his travel accommodations improved.
Trewyn, a Milton High and UW-Whitewater graduate, and Tampa Bay rookie offensive lineman, was informed just hours before the Bucs took off for England that he was being activated for Sunday’s game in London against the Carolina Panthers.
Trewyn, who signed as an undrafted free agent, was activated from the Bucs’ practice squad after another rookie—guard Zach Bailey—was injured during the team’s final practice Thursday just hours before they were to board a jet for London.
The Bucs offensive line has been hit hard by injuries. Bailey was set to make his debut Sunday in a reserve role behind right guard Earl Watford.
That job now goes to Trewyn, who will be one of only seven healthy linemen on Sunday’s active roster.
The promotion not only gives Trewyn an opportunity to see his first game action as a pro, but means an increase in pay. Trewyn’s agent, Janesville native Ron Slavin, said in a text message that Trewyn’s weekly salary goes up from $8,000 a week as a practice squad member to $29,000 as an active player.
Tampa Bay players, coaching staff and others on the traveling list boarded a Virgin Atlantic charter flight after practice Thursday and were to arrive in London this morning. After a few hours to rest at the team hotel, the Bucs are scheduled to practice late this afternoon.
Trewyn, an offensive lineman for the Warhawks from 2016-18, was signed by the Buccaneers as a free agent following the National Football League Draft in April.
After being among the team’s final cuts, he was signed to Tampa Bay’s practice squad.
Trewyn earned All-America honors from the Associated Press, D3football.com and the American Football Coaches Association following the 2018 season, when he helped the Warhawks win the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and reach the semifinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs. He was selected as the Rimington Award winner as the top center in NCAA Division III.
Trewyn was a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year all-region pick. He was a three-year member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll and a 2018-19 UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete.
Trewyn joins Jake Kumerow (2012-14), who is a wide receiver on the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster, as former UW-Whitewater players on active NFL rosters. UW-Whitewater is the only NCAA Division III institution with more than one former player on an NFL roster.
And the promotion made the trip over to London became more comfortable for the 6-foot-3, 313-pound Trewyn.
Active players fly first class.