Washington defensive back Trent McDuffie, one of the country’s top cornerbacks, told Yahoo Sports that he’s leaving school early to enter the 2022 NFL draft.
McDuffie, a true junior, said the decision came after discussions with his family, and former and current coaches at Washington.
“We decided it was the best time for me to take this next step on this new adventure,” McDuffie said in a phone interview.
McDuffie projects in the back-half of the first round of the draft, and he’ll enter the NFL with reputation as a strong cover corner, sure tackler and willing special-teamer. He had six pass break-ups this season as the linchpin of Washington’s elite pass defense, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Despite a 4-8 record, Washington led the nation with the fewest passing yards allowed in 2021 and finished third nationally in pass efficiency defense. McDuffie finished with four tackles for loss and 35 total tackles.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 06: Trent McDuffie #22 of the Washington Huskies celebrates a safety against the Oregon Ducks during the first quarter at Husky Stadium on November 06, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
“I am very hard-nosed, physical and disciplined, and I’d like to call myself a technician,” McDuffie said when asked what he’d bring to an NFL team. “I’m a film junkie and am dedicated to the details of my position and to the details of football.”
McDuffie said he models his technique from studying Stephon Gilmore, admires the “attitude and confidence” of Jalen Ramsey and has long attempted to emulate the sure-tackling of fellow Husky Budda Baker.
McDuffie’s explosiveness is a defining trait, as he projects strong testing numbers.
The 41.5-inch vertical leap he registered at Washington would have put him among the top defensive backs in the 2021 draft. His 129.5-inch broad jump was the best on the Washington team and will also register as a high-end number for a defensive…