Watching the Seattle Seahawks win their first Super Bowl in franchise history last month wasn’t the only reason Marcus Whittaker got an inkling to pursue an NFL dream, but it boosted his reasoning.
At 31 years old, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound former basketball standout at The Evergreen State College said he feels he has what it takes to be a professional wide receiver.
Whittaker, an experienced semipro football player, has earned a tryout at Saturday’s NFL regional combine at the Seahawks’ practice facility in Renton.
“Football always has been my first love,” said Whittaker, now a paraeducator at Lacey’s South Bay Elementary. “Basketball was something I picked up along the way and happened to get good at it.”
Regional combines, created in 2012 to serve as a supplement to the league’s national scouting combine, are full of long shots to make an NFL roster. Whittaker’s game film and notable stats earned him a tryout. Regional combines are open to players who have competed in a professional capacity, and that’s where Whittaker’s journey starts.
Whittaker was a do-it-all-type player for the Washington Cavaliers, a South Sound-based semipro team, last year as a wide receiver, punter, safety and linebacker.
“I don’t like to leave the field,” Whittaker said.
He also had a brief stint with the Kent Predators, a semipro indoor team, in 2010.
At Evergreen, Whittaker was a starting shooting guard, helping the Geoducks to back-to-back conference tournament appearances as a junior and senior in 2007 and ’08. He also played semipro basketball for the Olympia Reign and Olympia Rise organizations.