Following in the footsteps of his brothers Marcus and Isaiah, Desmond Trufant opted for a career as a cornerback in the NFL. However, don’t expect him to stay in the confines of those shadows for long. The move out of those shadows begins with the jersey number he’ll be wearing for the Atlanta Falcons. The number 21 of former Falcon Deion Sanders is a mighty big jersey to fill, but fill that jersey Desmond Trufant will.
Trufant excelled in track and basketball during his days at Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, but it was football that he loved the most. As a junior, he was named to the First Team All-Narrows League after recording 47 tackles and eight interceptions. In his senior year, he was selected as a running back and a cornerback for the First Team All-Narrows League.
Declining offers from Washington State, Arizona State and Oregon, Trufant accepted a scholarship from the University of Washington. He played in all 12 games of his 2009 freshman season, and his performance earned him the Travis Spring Most Outstanding Freshman Award at the Huskies’ awards banquet. As a sophomore, he started in all 13 games; he recorded nine tackles versus Stanford alone. During his junior year, he was named Pac-12 Player of the Week after logging 11 tackles against the Eastern Washington Eagles and won the Don James Perseverance Award at the team’s awards banquet. His accomplishments as a senior included 10 tackles in the victory over Oregon State, the Guy Flaherty Award at the team’s awards banquet, selection to the First Team All-Pac 12, and playing in the 2013 Senior Bowl.
While the Trufant trio will certainly be a hot topic of discussion in the NFL, the Falcons look for Desmond’s performance to make him stand out on his own soon enough. So do the Falcons fans…and so does Desmond. It will be interesting to watch the legacy of the number 21 jersey revive and continue.