On this Thursday, May 16, we’re here to add a little bit more to Marcus Trufant’s legacy in the Pacific Northwest.
From the annals of Wilson High School, we bring you a rare look at the former Seahawks cornerback Trufant, pictured here as a senior in the Tacoma school’s football program. The photo and self-submitted biography reveal some little known facts about the cornerback Seattle chose with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Washington State University.
Trufant, or “French Dip” as he dubs himself in his bio above, planned to go to college and major in engineering with hopes of being an architect, but notes his dream was to make it to the NFL. Here we are several years later and Trufant is still living out that dream.
After 10 seasons with his hometown Seahawks where he snagged 21 interceptions (good for fifth on the Seahawks’ all-time list), Trufant is now continuing his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and head coach Gus Bradley, who spent four seasons as defensive coordinator in Seattle.
Update: After posting the above photo on Twitter, Trufant gave us a little friendly reaction:
Marcus Trufant played the past four seasons under Gus Bradley when Bradley was the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. Today, Trufant, an unrestricted free agent, is visiting Bradley in his new role and location – head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Trufant’s visit was reported by the Jaguars’ website.
The Jaguars rebuilt their secondary during the NFL Draft by selecting strong safety Jonathan Cyprien with the first pick in the second round and then adding cornerbacks Dwayne Gratz (third round) and Demetrius McCray (seventh) and safety Josh Evans (sixth). But Trufant, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2003, could mentor the young secondary – just as he did for the Seahawks the past few seasons with the All-Pro tandem of free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman as well as Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Brandon Browner.
The Seahawks released Trufant last offseason, only to re-sign him for a 10th season. But this year, a similar move is unlikely because the team signed nickel back Antoine Winfield in free agency, drafted cornerback Tharold Simon and also has incumbent backups Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell.
UPDATE – At 11:54 a.m. the Jaguars officially announced they had signed Trufant:
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 26:
1983: Curt Warner is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft to provide the legs for new coach Chuck Knox’s “Ground Chuck” offense. The Seahawks trade their first-, second- and third-round picks to the Oilers to move into the third spot so they could select the Penn State running back. Warner rushed for 1,449 yards and 13 touchdowns as a rookie and finished his seven-season stay in Seattle with 6,705 rushing yards, 55 rushing TDs and three Pro Bowl berths.
2003: Marcus Trufant is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, thanks to an assist from former Seahawks tight end and then-Vikings coach Mike Tice. When the Vikings let their time elapse before making a selection at No. 9, the Seahawks jumped in and grabbed the former Washington State cornerback with the 11th pick overall. Trufant, who is now an unrestricted free agent, started 125 games over the next 10 seasons; was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007; and named to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
2008: Lawrence Jackson is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, which also delivered tight end John Carlson (second round) and defensive lineman Red Bryant (fourth round). Jackson, a defensive end from USC, started 24 games in two seasons before being traded to the Lions.
2012: Pass-rushing defensive end Bruce Irvin is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, with the 15th pick overall. Irvin led all NFL rookies with eight sacks last season.
It had been rumored that the Falcons were looking to move up in the first round of the NFL Draft. They did it, and selected University of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant tonight.
By moving from No. 30 to No. 22, the Falcons made sure they got one of the top corners in this draft class – with Alabama’s Dee Milliner going to the Jets at No. 9 and Houston’s D.J. Hayden going to the Raiders at No. 12.
Trufant is the younger brother of Marcus, who was the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2003 (the 11th pick overall); and Isaiah, who now plays for the Jets.
Trufant’s parents, Lloyd and Constance, held a draft-day party in Tacoma, where their sons grew up and attended Wilson High School before going to Washington State (Marcus), Eastern Washington University (Isaiah) and Washington (Desmond).
Desmond Trufant, the cornerback from the University of Washington and younger brother of long-time Seahawks corner Marcus Trufant, is among the 23 players who will attend the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Hall in New York on April 25.
The league announced the list of attendees today, and it also includes:
Ezekiel Ansa, DE, BYU
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Jonathan, Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
OT D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Eric Reid, S, LSU
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
In case you lost count, that’s four players from National Champion Alabama – Fluker, Lacy, Milliner and Warmack; and four from Florida State – Manuel, Rhodes, Werner and Watson.
As for the total number of players, 23 has been Marcus Trufant’s uniform number with the Seahawks since they selected the cornerback from Washington State in the first round of the 2003 draft.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on March 26:
2000: The Kingdome, the Seahawks’ home since their inaugural season in 1976, is imploded to make way for the team’s new stadium that would open in 2002. The Seahawks played at Husky Stadium on the University of Washington campus for two seasons before moving into their new state-of-the-art stadium that now goes by CenturyLink Field.
2008: Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Trufant is signed to a multiyear extension. Trufant, who became an unrestricted free agent this month, started 94 games in his first six seasons with the club after being selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after intercepting a career-high seven passes in 2007.
Asked on Sunday what he expected to run in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, Desmond Trufant smiled and offered, “I’m going to run fast.”
The University of Washington cornerback, and brother of Seahawks corner Marcus Trufant, did just that at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday. Desmond was clocked in 4.38 seconds – third-fastest among the corners behind Mississippi State’s Darius Slay (4.36) and Alabama’s Dee Milliner (4.37), and fast enough to assure Trufant’s status as a first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft.
“You have got to run fast to play corner,” Trufant said. “So I’m going to run pretty fast.”
Mike Mayock, analyst for the NFL Network, said the speed of the corners would determine which might join Milliner in being selected in the first round.
Told of Mayock’s statement, Trufant said, “Oh, that’s what they’re saying? I’m going to do what I’ve been training to do.”
Trufant was working out at API (Athletes’ Performance Institute) in Arizona to prepare for the Combine. You can watch Trufant’s 40 here.
Bucky Brooks, a former NFL player and scout who now works for NFL.com, was impressed by Trufant’s efforts.
“Trufant had been considered a fringe first-round prospect following the Senior Bowl, but a strong showing in Indianapolis now has him firmly entrenched in the conversation,” Brooks wrote. “He blazed a 4.38 40, displaying exceptional speed and acceleration. Additionally, Trufant popped impressive measurements in the vertical (37.5 inches) and broad jump (10-foot-5). Scouts were already convinced Trufant possesses the requisite cover skills to be a solid starter as a pro; the rest of the workout confirmed his movement skills as a borderline blue-chip talent.”
INDIANAPOLIS – It happened on an almost-weekly basis during the 2012 NFL season. Ask the opposing coach what impressed him about a Seahawks defense that would end up allowing the fewest points in the league and rank No. 4 in average yards allowed and the response would be, “They’ve got a couple of giants playing cornerback.”
That would be 6-foot-4 Brandon Browner on the right side and 6-3 Richard Sherman on the left side. And at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, the talk isn’t just about how well they played, but how they were obtained.
Sherman was a fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft, while Browner was signed that same year – to a future contract in January, no less – after spending four seasons in the CFL.
As Pat Kirwan, a former NFL scout who is now an analyst for CBSSports.com, put it, “Every team in the NFL is trying to build what the Seattle Seahawks have created with four big secondary players who are physical and can take away the passing game in man-coverage schemes. The four corners at the top of this draft all have Seahawk size, but can they run like the guys out in the Northwest?”
The rest of the Seahawks’ secondary is comprised of 6-3 strong safety Kam Chancellor and All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas. Thomas (first round) and Chancellor (fifth round) were selected in the 2010 draft, the Seahawks’ first under GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll.
Included among those top four corners that Kirwan mentioned is Desmond Trufant, the University of Washington product and brother of Marcus Trufant, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2003 who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 21:
2008: The club uses its franchise tag on cornerback Marcus Trufant, who then signs a six-year contract in March. Trufant, the team’s first-round draft choice in 2003, is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he led the team with a career-high seven interceptions and finished second with 85 tackles.
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 10:
2008: Matt Hasselbeck completes 7 of 9 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown to help the NFC win the Pro Bowl 42-30. Cornerback Marcus Trufant had five tackles to share team-high honors, while middle linebacker had Lofa Tatupu four tackles.