MOBILE, Ala. -- Whether it is a certain type of meal at the holidays or a favorite pastime everyone enjoys, every family has its own traditions.
For the Trufant household in Tacoma, Wash., that tradition is playing in the National Football League.
Former University of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant is spending his week at the 2013 Senior Bowl preparing to become the third member of his family to make it to the NFL. He is following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Marcus, of the Seattle Seahawks, and Isaiah, of the New York Jets.
“It’s a legacy,” Trufant said. “I feel like every person has a legacy and I’m just continuing that.”
Marcus, a 10th-year cornerback, has spent his entire career with the hometown Seahawks. He has played in both the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, and registered 644 total tackles, as well as 21 interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, during his time with the Seahawks.
In three years with the Jets, Isaiah has made 26 tackles and defended two passes.
“It’s very valuable,” Trufant said of the advice he receives from his brothers. “Some guys are the only ones that make it in their families. I actually have two older brothers to look at, and they set a perfect path. I’m just following it, just doing it my way, but I’m trying to make a statement.
“(Marcus told me) to just stay hungry, stay working, stay focused. ‘There’s a lot of distraction. There’s a lot of things you can do wrong, but just stay on the path and good things will happen for you.’”
Trufant took that advice to heart and is applying it to everything he does during the week leading up to the Senior Bowl, which will be played Saturday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile.
Since taking the field in Mobile, Trufant has made in impression on Dennis Allen, coach of the North team and Oakland Raiders.
“To play the corner position, you’ve got to have a little bit of moxy, a little bit of swagger,” Allen said. “That’s the thing that stands out to me. He believes that this is the spot that he ought to be. He believes that he should fit in the National Football League and when you watch him go out there and practice and play, even though this is the best of the best, he hasn’t backed down. I like that about him.”
During his career at Washington, Trufant played in 51 career games, where he registered 197 total tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 34 passes defended and six interceptions.
Trufant is not only looking to carry on a family tradition of playing in the NFL, but wants to be considered the best of the best.“It’s a great opportunity to come out here and just show your skills, show the world and all the scouts what you can do,” Trufant said. “I’m blessed to be here. Sometimes, in the Northwest, you don’t get see as much, so this is the perfect opportunity for the whole world, the whole country to be watching. I’m just looking to prove that I’m an elite player.”