It’s not as if Desmond Trufant suddenly has gone from standout freshman to average sophomore at cornerback for the Washington Huskies.
In fact, it’s just the opposite – he’s trying to do too much, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said this week.
The defining moment came Saturday in the final seconds of the first half against Arizona State. After the Huskies went for it on fourth down, ASU went right down the field – and scored on Steve Threet’s 20-yard strike to Mike Willie.
The surprise wasn’t that the Sun Devils scored, but that Willie’s catch came against Trufant, the Huskies’ top cover man.
“It’s always frustrating when you get a touchdown scored on you,” Trufant said after practice Tuesday. “I made a play on the ball. I learned from it, but I’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
The defensive staff, along with Sarkisian, identified a bigger issue after the game Saturday: Trufant was trying to cover so many areas for his teammates that he was sometimes getting out of position to do his own job.
“I think you notice it even going back to Week 1,” Sarkisian said. “At times this year ... he’s been pressing, and trying almost to be perfect.”
The numbers say Trufant isn’t having a bad year. He’s sixth on the team in tackles (16) and has two pass breakups.
But he doesn’t have an interception. And Saturday wasn’t the first scoring pass he’s given up this season. Syracuse scored on him, too, in the home opener last month.
“There have been some plays I could’ve, looking back at the film, I could’ve made better,” Trufant said. “But that’s what happens as a corner. I’m just going to keep working, and it’s going to work out.”
Not in the slightest have the Huskies began losing faith in Trufant.
“Tru is a tremendous football player, and we have all the confidence in the world in him – of playing not only man-to-man coverage but zone coverage, and blitzing and all the things we like to do with our corners,” Sarkisian said. “I know there is more playmaking ability in him because I see it every day. We’re just trying to get to the point where he feels not like he has to shoulder the burden of everybody out there.”
A big second half is in store for Trufant, Sarkisian predicts.
“It’s going to come,” Trufant said. “Sometimes it happens like that as a cornerback. Two plays, you can stand out and be a hero, or two plays you can be the worst guy on the field. I’ve just got to keep working.”
Quarterback Jake Locker (leg bruise) was a limited participant for the second consecutive day. He is also recovering from an upper-chest cold. Backup Keith Price took all the snaps during 11-on-11 team drills. . . . Receiver Devin Aguilar (hip flexor) was in uniform, but mostly watched practice from the sideline. . . . It was a new group running with the No. 1 offensive line Tuesday: Senio Kelemete at left tackle, Ryan Tolar at left guard, Gregory Christine at center, Colin Porter at right guard and Drew Schaefer at right tackle. Three-year starter Cody Habben was with the second-string offensive line.
Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 email@example.com