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Behind the Jersey Number: Desmond Trufant

CB Desmond Trufant was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft 22nd overall and quickly earned his position on the team starting all 16 games during his rookie season.

One of the many great sights on game days is watching countless Falcons fans fill the Georgia Dome, and away venues, wearing the jersey of their favorite player, which got us to wondering if the players have a specific reason why they're wearing their current jersey numbers.


Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant has always been a fan of jerseys, especially those of his favorite players, like Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.

It's no surprise that several current NFL players grew up as fans of the game. Trufant is no different, as he would proudly show loyalty to his favorite players by wearing their jerseys, during his grade-school years. Among the list of Trufant's favorite players are former St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk and his two all-time favorite cornerbacks, Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders and a previous No. 21, former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders.

When the time came to choose his own jersey number at Wilson High School (Tacoma, Wash.), Trufant earned first-team all-state honors wearing jersey No. 3. Moving on to college, he chose to wear No. 6 for the University of Washington, where he recorded a school record of 39 passes defensed.

League rules mandate that all NFL defensive backs must choose a jersey number between 20-49, forcing Trufant to move away from a single-digit uniform. After the Falcons selected him with the 22nd-overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, Trufant went with No. 21, inspired by Sanders' Hall-of-Fame skills.

The second-year cornerback is very quick to admit that while appreciative of his favorite players, his true motivation in this game comes from those responsible in helping him earn his very own NFL jersey.

"I wouldn't be here without God," Trufant said. "I thank my parents for raising me the right way and my family in general, my cousins, my nieces, just everybody, all my family has supported me from Day 1. I always want to thank my coaches from high school to college, because they each helped mold me into the player I am now."

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