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A family affair for Trufant and Green
BALLARD, Wash.– During his acceptance speech at the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame luncheon on Friday, former University of Washington All-American defensive lineman Steve Emtman said to him football always was all about “team and family.”
That definitely was the case for two other members of the 2012 Class with strong and deep roots to the Seahawks – cornerback Marcus Trufant, who was the inductee for Washington State University; and former defensive end Jacob Green, who is this year’s professional inductee.
Trufant was accompanied at the event, which was held at the Ballard Elks Club, by his mother, Constance; father, Lloyd; and wife, Jessica. Joining Green were his daughter, Janelle, and grandson, Joseph.
“I’ve had a lot of love and support all the way through, and I think that’s because I’m from the area,” Trufant said. “A lot of people are able to relate to me and they’ve just always been in my corner.”
Green also got a surprise award from his extended family – those who have helped generate, and benefitted from, the $2.7 million his annual golf tournament has raised for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The double honor left Green choked up. But once he regained his composure, he said, “It’s been a beautiful day. I was so surprised about The Hutch award. That really just totally knocked me off my feet.”
The 2012 Class also included Ron Vrlicak, a former semipro player for the Seattle Rangers; Wes Fischer, a player and coach for the semipro team in Snohomish County; Glenn Rickert, a longtime coach at Burlington-Edison High School; Pat Jones, a longtime assistant coach at Bellevue High School; associate inductees Carver Gayton and Dick Baird; and Emtman, the UW honoree.
“This is a very cool deal,” Trufant said. “Just the whole organization in general is a good deal. There are a lot of important people here who have done a lot of good things in this area for a long time – and they haven’t done it to make a lot of money, they’re doing it for the community and they’re doing it for the kids.
“So just to be mentioned in the same light as those people, it’s a big deal to me.”
Being part of the group was reward enough for Trufant and Green. Being able to share it with their families made it that much more rewarding.
“This meant a lot to be here with Marcus on this special day,” Constant Trufant said. “It’s an honor, especially to be in the presence of all those other folks. And then to have Jacob Green here, it’s great.”
Offered Janelle, who is married to Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant, “This is just awesome, because I know how hard my dad works – with his charity event and everything with The Hutch – and how much the Seahawks mean to him. I’m glad to be able to share this with him.”
Now that Trufant and Green are in, it makes you wonder what took so long.
Green is the Seahawks’ all-time leader with 116 sacks and was a defensive mainstay during one of the most successful runs in franchise history – 1983-88, when the Seahawks went to the playoffs four times, advanced to the AFC Championship game in 1983 and won their first division title in 1988.
He already is in the team’s Ring of Honor and was voted to the 35th Anniversary team. Green is also a member of the Texas A&M Hall of Fame and the Texas Black Hall of Fame.
“It’s certainly an honor,” Green said of his latest award. “This is something that you’ll always remember because you’re being honored by the community and by so many people who appreciated what you did on the football field.
“That’s never gotten old, and it never will get old.”
Trufant, meanwhile, also was voted to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team. His honor, however, was for his efforts at Washington State, where he did not allow a touchdown pass in his final two seasons. But Trufant also was a three-sport star at Wilson High School in Tacoma.
Like Green, Trufant is a better person than he is a player. That’s saying something, and saying a lot. He has raised close to $1 million for charities through his Trufant Family Foundation.
If the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame ever needed face to promote itself, Trufant would be a logical choice. Born, raised and revved in the state of Washington – from high school, through college and now with the Seahawks.
“Just another chapter in my storybook life and football career,” said a smiling Trufant, clutching his Hall of Fame plaque. “I’ll be able to put this up in the office and be able to tell my (three) girls about this when they get older.”