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Marcus Trufant retires as a Seahawk

Posted Apr 24, 2014

Just after signing a one-day contract and his retirement papers on Thursday, former Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Trufant stepped before a sea of loved ones and friends to announce he was calling it a career.

Somewhere in the early stages – and pages – of the Trufant family photo album is a picture of oldest son Marcus wearing a Seahawks Snoopy shirt.

“Marcus had that dream when he was a little boy that he wanted to play professional football,” Lloyd Trufant, Marcus’ father, said Thursday. “And it was amazing that he turned out to be a Seahawk because we took a picture of him with a football and he had on a Seahawks Snoopy shirt, and then he ended up being a Seahawk.”

Added Constance Trufant, Marcus’ mother, “Marcus was maybe six or seven then, but he remained consistent through Boys Club, elementary school, middle school, high school. He always said, ‘I want to play professional football.’ ”

The kid who dreamed of playing for the Seahawks while growing up in Tacoma did just that for 10 seasons after the cornerback from Washington State University was selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft by his hometown team. Thursday, Trufant called it a career by announcing his retirement during a gathering at Virginia Mason Athletic Center that was more Love-In than news conference.

“I retire the right way, as a Seahawk,” said Trufant, who had signed his one-day contract and also retirement papers just before the news conference.

Asked after the event whether the reality had surpassed the childhood dream, Trufant pondered the situation before offering, “As a young man, you have dreams about playing in the NFL. You see yourself on TV. You see yourself scoring that winning touchdown and making it to a Super Bowl. So I guess I would say yes. It’s been a long career. I never thought that I would play for 10 years. As a rookie, you’re just out there and you’re kind of playing. You never really think into the future, or at least I didn’t. I was just kind of living day to day.

“But it has been a dream come true, and it’s still going so I’m excited.”

Marcus Trufant exited on this April day the same way he entered on that April day in 2003: With class.

Trufant, 33, was joined on the stage in the auditorium at VMAC by his parents, Constance and Lloyd; his wife, Jessica; his brothers, Isaiah and Desmond, who are cornerbacks for the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons; and the agent for all three brothers, Doug Hendrickson. In the front row were Trufant’s four daughters, Karmyn, Kimora, Kennedi and Kassidy; and his grandfather, Fredrick Paul Johnson.

The rest of the room was filled with people from his past and his present – including Seahawks coach Pete Carroll; general manager John Schneider; assistant coaches Kris Richard, Rocky Seto and Marquand Manuel; and former teammates Walter Jones, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Roy Lewis.

And Trufant got around to just about all of them, and more, during the giving-thanks exercise that served as his retirement speech. But the man who was born on Christmas Day started by thanking God. Before he was done, Trufant also had thanked his family, calling his wife “my queen”; his daughters “my everything”; his father “my role model”; saying his mother “had been his corner since Day One”; and adding that he and his brothers “always had each other’s back.”

He then addressed his first season as a non-football player after the Seahawks did not re-sign him last offseason, “I was thrown immediately into fulltime dad mode. I thought that two-a-days in the summer was hard over in Cheney, Wash., in the heat my first couple years. But to go to cheerleading practice, to go to ballet, to go to dance class, to go to tap class, to go to swimming lessons, to do all that it’s a little bit different schedule.

“I would take two-a-days any day. It’s a lot easier. A lot easier. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

When the laughter subsided, Trufant continued to wade into his sea of thanks. He thanked his agent and then his coaches – from his middle school football coach; to his high school position coach and basketball coach; to his coaches at WSU, Mike Price and Bill Doba; to Mike Holmgren, his first coach with the Seahawks; to Carroll, Richard and Seto. He also thanked owner Paul Allen.    

“Thank God for everything that has happened in my life,” Trufant said. “It seems like it’s been like a storybook or a movie. Everything has been in my favor. I feel like I have God’s favor.”

And it has never been lost on Trufant how blessed he was to play his entire career in the state of Washington – at McCarver Elementary, Truman Middle School, Wilson High School, Washington State University and with the Seahawks.

Yes, Trufant has a lot to be thankful for. And the Seahawks are thankful for everything Trufant did during his 10 seasons with the team.

In 2003, he was voted to the NFL all-rookie team after starting all 16 games, making 78 tackles and defending 20 passes. In 2004, he led the team with 93 tackles – making him the only cornerback in franchise history and just the fourth in NFL history to do that – and also intercepted five passes. In 2005, Trufant got to play in that Super Bowl. In 2007, he was voted to the Pro Bowl after intercepting a career-high seven passes and making 85 tackles, and he added a 78-yard interception return for a touchdown to ice the Seahawks’ wild-card playoff victory over the Washington Redskins. In 2010, Trufant had his final 16-start season and made 80 tackles.

But when Trufant got to that portion of his blessed life, he ended it with, “Blah, blah, blah.”

As good a player as he was – which was good enough to be voted the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team – Trufant was, and remains, an even better person. That was evident at the end of the news conference when his mother presented her oldest son with an award for his “distinguished service” to the Trufant Family Foundation.

Richard played with Trufant (2003-04) and also coached him (2010-12), and he put it this way, “I was truly privileged to be around a man of his character.”