The Trufants are having a family reunion this weekend at CenturyLink Field.
But aren’t the University of Washington Huskies and Seahawks using the stadium on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon? Yes they are, and that’s the reason for the all-Trufant, all-weekend affair.
Youngest brother Desmond is a senior cornerback and co-captain for the Huskies, who will host Utah at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday, at 1:05 p.m., oldest brother Marcus and middle brother Isaiah – also cornerbacks – will take over as the Seahawks host the New York Jets.
All three brothers – who grew up in Tacoma, went to Wilson High School and played or are playing their college ball in the state – at the same venue on the same weekend. How cool is that?
“That’s actually really cool,” said Marcus, who was the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2003 after playing at Washington State University. “To have all three of us in the same weekend, playing on the same field, that’s really something. Growing up as kids, when we’d play in the backyard, I didn’t even know that something like that could happen.
“So it’s just something you’ve got to enjoy, and you’ve got to smile about it.”
This really cool, and really rare, occasion is attracting Trufants from near and far. Constance and Lloyd, the proud parents, will have 55 family members and friends at the two games – including 12 out-of-towners from New Orleans and Texas. For Sunday’s Seahawks-Jets game, many will be sporting split jerseys, one half Marcus’ No. 23 and the other Isaiah’s No. 35.
“I’m just overwhelmed with joy and just so proud and happy,” Constance said on Tuesday, when she was busy finalizing details for not only the football doubleheader at CenturyLink Field but the Trufant Family Foundation annual Bowling and Billiards Classic at ACME Bowl and Events in Tukwila on Monday from 5:30-10 p.m. that raises money for youth programs in the area.
“We’re calling it ‘The Whole Trufant Weekend.’ ”
Marcus, 31, has left some rather large cleat prints for his younger brothers to follow. In addition to being the 11th player selected in the 2003 NFL Draft, he was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and named to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team. He’s also the only cornerback in franchise history to lead the team in tackles (93 in 2004). His role has changed this season, when he is playing as the nickel back after being a starter since he joined the Seahawks.
The 5-foot-8 Isaiah, 29, took a more meandering path to the NFL. He went to Eastern Washington University and then played in the Arena League and UFL for five seasons and with four teams – the Spokane Shock (2006), Kansas City Brigade (2007), Arizona Rattlers (2007-09) and Las Vegas Locomotives (2009-10). He was named UFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. With the Jets, he played in one game in 2010, 13 in 2011 and all eight this season – when 10 of his 15 tackles have come in the past two games.
Desmond, 21, has been a four-year starter for the Huskies, and is rated as the fourth-best corner in the 2013 NFL Draft class by NFLDraftScout.com. Entering Saturday’s game against Utah, he has 29 tackles and an interception, pushing his career totals to 188 tackles and six picks.
Sitting in one of the recliners in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Monday, Marcus slipped out of his customary consummate-professional/ultimate-competitor persona for a few minutes to play the role of proud big brother.
“Desmond is a lot younger than me and Isaiah, but he was always trying to keep up (when we’d play in the backyard). He was always out there with us,” Marcus said. “Now he’s holding his own, his doing his thing, he’s making his mark.
“Isaiah took the long route. He took the hard way. But who’s to say which way is the right way? He went to Eastern Washington. He’s played in the Arena League. He’s played in the UFL. And he’s done well at every level. He has talent; he just doesn’t have the typical NFL size. That’s how he got overlooked, but all he needed was the opportunity.
“He’s a good little player. He goes out there and he’s not afraid of nothing. He’s just a football player.”
And if Marcus is that proud of his brothers, you can imagine how off-the-charts delighted Constance and Lloyd are because of the players and men their sons have grown into.
“It’s sunk in,” Constance said, laughing. “It’s right there in the heart. It has its own little fixed place in my heart.”