Just facts from Trufant in recruiting of cousin

MARCUS TRUFANT AND newly announced Washington State verbal commitment Grady Maxwell are a study in contrast. One plays cornerback, the other offensive line. One weighs 185 pounds, the other 312. One suits up on Sundays, the other on Fridays. One attended Wilson High, the other attends rival Curtis. But when it comes to family matters, loyalty and tastes in colleges, the two cousins are in lockstep. "We're very close," Trufant told Cougfan.com last week.

The File On
A two-way star and consensus All-State pick as a senior at Wilson High. Tacoma News Tribune's 1998 Class 4A state player of the year. Only Pac-10 scholarship offer came from WSU. Idaho and EWU also offered.

Started as a true freshman in 1999. Concluded career in 2002 by earning first-team All-America honors from ESPN. Became 12th player in Cougar history to be taken in first round of NFL draft, going to the Seahawks with No. 11 overall pick.

Started all 16 games his rookie season in the NFL and then followed it up in 2004 by becoming only the fourth cornerback in NFL history to lead team in total tackles (93). His five picks last season were the third-most in NFC.

"Winning the (2002) Pac-10 championship and going to the Rose Bowl," he says unequivocally.

Marcus' mom Constance and Grady's mom Veronica are sisters. They're close and therefore, too, are their respective families.

So when college recruiters came calling on the 6-3, 312-pound Maxwell, Marcus wasn't bashful about making sure his younger cousin knew the basics about WSU.

"I told him Wazzu was a great place. It's a family atmosphere where you make friends for life," said Trufant, now in his third year with the Seattle Seahawks. "I also told him how loyal the coaches were to me, and how the fans really buy in to what's going on."

Trufant is quick to point out that his cousinly love isn't overbearing. He told Maxwell not to let the calls and letters become a distraction, to focus on school and football, and then pick the school, WSU or otherwise, that felt most comfortable.

Of course, it didn't hurt that Maxwell started making regular treks to Pullman when Trufant launched his Cougar career in 1999.

Best Cougar corner of all time?

Maxwell knows the coaches. He knows the town. He knows the fans.

As with Trufant six years ago, the Cougars were the first major school to offer Maxwell a scholarship. The overture was made right after Maxwell attended WSU's summer camp in June.

"I think he felt the same loyalty I felt when I was recruited by WSU," Trufant said.

Last week, in the face of growing interest from Oregon, Cal and others, Maxwell made his committing call to the WSU coaching staff. Shortly after, he called his cousin to let him know he was going to be a Cougar.

Marcus' response was succinct --- "Great!" He also was a bit fatherly: "Now buckle down and go out there and make things happen."

Grady Maxwell

Trufant, who tries to catch as many Curtis games as possible, has no doubts about Maxwell's abilities.

"He brings a lot to the table," says the former first-round draft pick. "He's a big, strong guy with great feet --- and you need great feet as an offensive lineman in this day and age because those defensive linemen can be incredibly fast. Grady can run. Those feet are just something he was born with. The Cougars got a good one. His future is very promising."

And what can Maxwell expect at the next level?

For starters, there's the speed and complexity of the game, Trufant says. That transition to college is a big one.

And then there's the head coach. Maxwell will be playing for one of the best, says Trufant. "Coach Doba is a player's coach. He can coach anybody --- everybody, from the local guys to the inner-city kids, can relate to him. Coaches like that really make you want to go out there and do well."

No bias, says Trufant. Just the facts -- facts he gently made sure Cousin Grady was well aware of.

Grady Maxwell profile

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