This weekend, it will be a homecoming and a family affair at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
When the Seattle Seahawks host the New York Jets on Sunday, siblings Marcus Trufant of the Seahawks and Isaiah Trufant (above) of the Jets will face each other in an NFL game for the first time in their careers.
The Trufant brothers are Washington natives, having grown up in Tacoma. Marcus went to Washington State University, while Isaiah went to FCS school Eastern Washington.
Youngest brother Desmond Trufant, a senior at the University of Washington, plays his home games at CenturyLink Field as well. He’ll be playing his final collegiate home game on Saturday, one day before his brothers face off.
All three of the Trufant brothers are cornerbacks, and all they’re excited about this family reunion of sorts:
“It’ll be a big day for us,” Desmond said. “[I'm] proud of my brothers, what they’re doing and we’ve got to keep it going as a family, keep producing, keep doing good things.”
“It’s just a blessing for us all to be playing football at a high level and doing what we grew up loving to do,” Isaiah said. “Little bro, Lord willing, he’s well on his way to doing what he loves to do also at a professional level.”
Marcus Trufant was drafted by the Seahawks 11th overall in 2003, and the cornerback has played his entire 10-year career in Seattle, making one Pro Bowl appearance and one All-Pro team, back in 2007.
Isaiah’s path to the NFL has been a lot rockier. Two years younger, three inches shorter, and nearly 30 lbs lighter than Marcus, Isaiah went undrafted and bounced around the AFL and UFL before latching on with the Jets.
For most of his NFL career, Isaiah has been a special teams standout. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a blocked punt recovery in Week 1 of the 2011 season, and he’s been a fixture as a gunner on the punt team.
However, in 2012, Jets coach Rex Ryan has given Isaiah Trufant an increased role on defense. In fact, his first significant action was an assignment to shadow All-Pro receiver Wes Welker. Talk about a baptism by fire.
A week before Isaiah covered Welker, the Seahawks played Welker’s New England Patriots, and Isaiah called up Marcus to ask for advice on how to cover one of the most elusive receivers in the game.
“I talked to him a little bit about how he went about sticking him,” Isaiah said. “He just told me to be patient and that he’s a real shifty guy. [I've] never really been part of the defense, so it was new to me. He helped me out.”
The Trufants are not much for trash talking. They’re just happy, and proud, to be here.
“It starts with the family,” Marcus said. “You have to have pride in the family name, the way we carry ourselves and the way we handle business on the field.”
“We’re both not really trash talkers like that,” Isaiah said. “But it’s always a friendly competition, brotherly competition, I’d say. Just from back in the day, growing up. That’s all it is.”
Isaiah’s spent plenty of time at CenturyLink Field before, cheering on Marcus from the stands as part of the famous “12th man” Seattle fans are known for. But now, for the first time, Isaiah will be on the field, as a visitor no less.
“At the end of the day, it’s a game that we’ve got to win and all that other stuff is secondary,” Isaiah said. “It’s always good to go home and all that good stuff, but it’s a business trip and we’re there to win. That’s where our focus is.”