By Eric D. Williams The News Tribune
INDIANAPOLIS — Man up, stand up.
Those are the words Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman shouts during critical moments of the game, referring to his defense’s willingness to play man coverage when the game is on the line.
Man coverage also is the preference of University of Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant, who has the biggest audition of his life at the NFL Scouting Combine this week.
Trufant talked with reporters in Indianapolis on Sunday, showing a more extroverted side to the Trufant family than his usually reserved older brothers Marcus and Isaiah.
He hopes to follow in their footsteps and join the NFL for the upcoming season.
“I don’t know the last time when there’s been three brothers in the NFL,” said the Tacoma native. “It’s definitely a milestone. It’s big for our family, and our city. And so I’m just going to continue it going.”
Trufant measured in at 5-11 and 190 pounds. He’s scheduled to meet with 15 teams today, and will go through on-field drills and testing on Tuesday. NFL scouts want to see him prove his long speed by running a fast 40-yard time. Trufant plans on doing that, but he won’t predict what his time will be when he runs on Tuesday.
“I’m going to run fast,” he said. “You’ve got to run fast to play corner. So I’m going to run pretty fast.”
Trufant’s fighting for a spot potentially in the first round if he performs well on Tuesday, including running a time in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash. NFL scouts like the confidence he plays with, his competitive nature and the fact that his specialty is man coverage, and he’s not afraid being out on an island.
So are you the best corner out of the three brothers?
“I mean I can’t say that yet,” Trufant said with a laugh. “I’ve still got a lot to prove. They’ve played in the NFL at a high level. I’ve still got to go do that, then maybe you can ask me that.”
When asked who would win a race if all three brothers lined up, Trufant once again took a diplomatic approach.
“I don’t know, they’re kind of older now,” he said. “So I don’t know, I might have a step. But I don’t know, we’ll have to do that one day just for you all.”
Trufant said he owes his recent success partly to the defensive scheme change last year at the University of Washington, with Justin Wilcox taking over as defensive coordinator.
“We did a lot of man to man,” he said. “And I feel like I’m a man to man corner. I can play zone as well, but I feel man is my strength.
“In the league you’ve got to be able to man up. The receivers are great. You’ve got to be able to read and react, and be out there on that island. And it’s definitely helped me being at UW.”
Trufant also brings versatility to the mix because he can line up inside as a slot defender in third down situations. Trufant said he has quickness like middle brother Isaiah, but size like oldest brother Marcus.
“I’m excited,” Trufant said. “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity my whole life. All the workouts, all of the season work, all the games — everything is coming down to this moment. So I’m very excited.”