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{ In the first entry of his Draft Diary, an exclusive to NFLPLAYERS.COM, Desmond Trufant talks about his upbringing, the combine and much more. }
Author: Desmond Trufant, Special to NFLPLAYERS.COM Posted: 2/20/2013

Desmond Trufant is a senior cornerback at The University of Washington. Trufant has proven to be one of the best cornerbacks in the Pac-12 instantly establishing himself as a great defender for the Huskies. He had a streak of 45 straight starts for Washington and is currently ranked second out of two-hundred and forty nine cornerbacks. In his Draft Diary only on NFLPLAYERS.COM, Trufant will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at how he’s preparing for the NFL Draft. Check back here every other week as Desmond chases his dream of making it to the NFL.

For my first draft diary, I should probably tell you a bit about myself. I grew up in  Tacoma, Wash. on the north end of the city. It’s a pretty nice area not huge but not small either.  I love the fact that everyone knows each other, I have a lot of close friends that I’ve known since elementary school and I lived a block away from the high school that I went to. I was always around sports. I grew up in the boys club playing soccer, baseball, football, basketball and running tack, my parents made sure that I was always involved.  My parents are originally from the south, but met in Washington. They were always there for us growing up, provided everything that we needed and supported every decision we made.

I have two older brothers both of them in the NFL, Marcus with the Seahawks and Isaiah with the Jets. Naturally I watched a lot of football; I was the ball boy for my brothers’ high school football team and would travel to the Eastern Mountain every weekend with my parents to watch their college games at Washington State and Eastern Washington. Growing up I didn’t really have a favorite NFL team, I was more of a players fan. Admiring game changers like Charles Woodson when he was with the Oakland Raiders and Warren Sapp with Tampa Bay. I was also a big Deion Sanders and Champ Bailey fan.  I loved the fact that they were all over the field and impacted the game in so many ways from tackles, fumbles and interceptions to blitzing. Guys like that did a little bit of everything and I admired them for it.

I have a lot of people in my life that I look up to and consider my role models. My parents first of all because they always kept me and my siblings on the right track and pointed us in the right direction. My brothers of course, but also my cousin Grady Maxwell, while my brothers were in college going to the next level I was mostly with him, he was also a football player but ended early due to injury. I’m definitely a home grown type of guy, I love being around my family and spending time with my cousins, brothers, parents, nieces and nephews. On the field I’m energetic, talkative and have a lot of fun, but off the field I don’t really do much. I’m just a laid back, humble, chill type of guy.

The University of Washington was a great experience. 2009 was my first year there with Coach Sarkisian. I was a part of his first recruiting class which was really big for him and we just had a great time. I saw a lot of great players go through the school such as Donald Butler, Mason Foster and Jake Locker just to name a few . They treated me well and provided me with all the support that I needed to be successful athletically and academically. My position coaches helped me a lot -- Demetrice Martin during my first three years and Donte Williams my senior year. Coach Martin was really hard on me because he knew my potential helping me become consistent in my performance and Coach Williams molded and shaped me in my technique to become more patient and confident. Both had a huge impact on me becoming the corner that I today. 

Now here I am thinking about the upcoming combine. It’s exciting because I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. It’s such a blessing to be in this position because the combine is such a great opportunity.  I’m going to try and make the most of it and be consistent and good in everything that I do. I’m just really looking forward to showing the coaches that I’m elite in my drills and meetings. My brothers told me to just be myself not to change things, worry or stress about the situation, to do what I’ve been doing and let it come naturally to me. So I plan to approach it like I do a game -- focused, confident and prepared. I’m ready to go out there have fun, not take it too seriously or be tense, but just do what I’ve been practicing and showcase that I’m one of the best out there. When I was young I was a big fan cheering my brothers on. I loved the game just for the game but now I know that it’s definitely more of a business. I know that this is what I’m meant to do and I understand the business side of it -- you have to be good on and off the field; serving as a role model in the community. I think that it’s important for players to know and understand that there are a lot of other things that go into the game besides just playing on Sunday.

This entire experience is surreal, I feel like I won’t realize it until actual draft day after I hear my name called, but it’s a blessing to be in this position. Not many people get to reach their dreams and this  dream is so big to me.  I’ve been working all my life to get to this point and now I just have to capitalize.

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