by: Chris Francis Updated:
Tacoma, Wash. - The celebration began after more than two hours of tense, anxious waiting. Player after player went off the NFL draft board before Desmond Trufant’s name was called.
But when the commissioner finally uttered the words, “… with the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select, Desmond Trufant.”, the former Husky knew he was heading to an organization that really wanted him.
The Falcons pulled off a trade to move up eight spots and pick Trufant, knowing if they waited the Minnesota Vikings would snatch him up.
Trufant was in tears as he took the call from his agent and Falcons brass.
“I didn't expect to cry, I try to be a tough guy, you know, but it's been such a long wait.” Trufant said after the announcement. “This is the best day of my life, I worked so hard to get here, it's just beautiful to be here with all my family, so I'm just happy.”
Trufant is the 20th Washington Husky to be taken in the first round, joining guys like Steve Emtman, Jake Locker and Napoleon Kaufmann.
He also joins his brothers who are current NFL players. Marcus Trufant, a longtime Seahawk, is a free agent and Isaiah Trufant plays for the New York Jets.
The Falcons were one of three teams that had a definite interest in Desmond before the draft started, “ I had an individual workouts with them they told me it was one of the best workouts they’d seen, that just gave me a hint”. That, and the fact that the Falcons had a need a defensive back. Three of their top five cornerbacks from last season are no longer with the team. Head Coach Mike Smith said that Trufant, who was a team captain for the Huskies, will compete for a starting position.
“I’m very excited about the pick,” Smith said.
Ironically, it was the Falcons who knocked the Seahawks and brother Marcus, out of last year’s playoffs. After the draft, the Trufant’s celebrated with hundreds of people at a big community party on the campus of UW Tacoma. Desmond was mobbed for autographs and pictures, his older brother Marcus says the spotlight is well deserved.
“He's just been grinding for a long time, since he was a little boy he's always been in the background, I’m 10 years older and Isaiah is 8 years older and it's just a dream come true everything is coming around full circle. “
Trufant will travel to Atlanta Friday to meet his new coaches, team mates and the media.