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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

April 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Trufant still playing catch-up

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Desmond Trufant says the groin injury that caused him to sit out spring ball in 2010 has him still a little behind.

The spring, Trufant says, is when cornerbacks can really concentrate on the fundamentals and get better.

“The spring is when you really learn your technical work,” he said. “It (playing corner) is a lot of technical work, it’s a lot of technique and a lot of stepping the right way and using your hands the right way. I didn’t get to that last year. But this year I’m going to take advantage of this spring to get better.”

Good thing, then, that Trufant is getting all the work he could ever want this spring as one of two established returning starters at cornerback — alongside senior Quinton Richardson — at a position momentarily shy of depth. UW cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin says he has to worry more this spring about overworking Trufant and Richardson as the Huskies have just four healthy, scholarship cornerbacks on the roster.

Trufant, a junior (seen above in the UCLA game last year in an AP photo), is happy for all the activity.

A year ago this spring, he was forced to watch from the sidelines after having surgery in February, 2010 to repair a groin injury whose origins dated to his days at Wilson High School in Tacoma.

He played through the injury throughout a standout true freshman season in 2009, when he marked himself as a potential all-conference player down the road, but finally decided to have surgery after it continued to act up during off-season conditioning.

That forced him to essentially sit out last spring (he was able to do some non-contact work). And it’s tempting to wonder if that helped blunt some of his progress and led to some shaky moments early in the 2010 season.

Trufant doesn’t volunteer it as an excuse, but when asked, allows it might have been a factor.
“It could have affected me,” he said. “I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t get better every day and people, my teammates, were getting better and I had to sit back and watch. I have to work even harder now to try to catch up.”

He also revealed at mid-season that he was battling hamstring tightness, though he reiterates what he also said then — that he might have been just trying too hard at times.
As the season wore on, he said “I just stopped pressing. I just stopped wanting to be perfect and do everything right. I just started playing and just started playing natural.”

Like much of the rest of the team, he seemed to play his best ball in the last four games, though particularly when judging the defense, the fact that the Huskies played some teams with backup quarterbacks and struggling offenses in the last quarter of the year can’t be forgotten.

Still, Trufant thinks he might have turned a corner. And now healthy again this spring, he’s hoping to stay on that path.

He says the groin remains “sore every now and then, just from having surgery.”

But he said having a full off-season conditioning program should also help.

Listed at 6-foot, 177, the younger brother of current Seahawk Marcus Trufant said he was up to 185 during the off-season and is currently at 182-183 at the mid-way point of spring workouts.

“I want to try to get to 190 (when the season begins),” he said. “But as long as I say fast and strong I’ll be good.”

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