One weekday in August 2012 Authentic Customized Ravens Jerseys , when the NFL regular season was approaching and rosters were being winnowed, first-year Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson called a stretch play during an 11-on-11 practice. A rookie cornerback wearing number 38 chased the play from the back side and with speed that Seattle had just clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, dragged running back Robert Turbin down for no gain.
On the next play No. 38 broke up a 40-yard fade down the opposite sideline. A few snaps later he snuffed out a slant route, slapping Wilson’s spiral into the FieldTurf with an emphatic whap-bomp. Richard Sherman liked the first two plays, but the slant is what launched Seattle’s second-year cornerback from the sideline, his yet-to-be-famous dreads flying, Donny Lisowski thinking he’d died and gone to football heaven as coach Pete Carroll’s hip鈥慼op selections scored the scene from speakers taller than Donny.
“I see you!” Sherman yelled, leaning backward and nodding at the white cornerback. “They don’t see you, but I see you!”
Article continues below ... Born and raised in Seattle, the 28-year-old Lisowski will always remember the summer of 2012, when he had the Seahawks’ practice facility buzzing. He wore the same surging bird decal on his helmet that Marshawn Lynch wore on his. He lined up for DB drills behind his favorite player growing up, Marcus Trufant. He earned the respect of Carroll and his assistants Customized Los Angeles Rams Jerseys , men he said were first-class in all of their communications with him. But as those summer days turned into months—then years—of solo workouts and precisely zero phone calls from other NFL teams, Lisowski couldn’t help but wonder whether there had been an invisible force at play in his career.
All 64 starting cornerbacks in the NFL are black. So are their backups. One hundred-sixty black cornerbacks, give or take. Not a single white one. It’s been this way for more than 10 years.
For a while there Lisowski believed he might get invited to another NFL camp and become the first regularly contributing white cornerback in the NFL since the Giants’ Jason Sehorn, who took his last snap at the position in 2002. Lisowski’s name, it seemed, would replace the mythic, anthropological-sounding Sehorn’s as the one that gets whispered anytime a white kid takes a serious crack at corner. (Uh-oh! Check out Sehorn!) But those days have passed; Lisowski is out of the game. As he describes it, “I feel like I beat football in a way. I’ve played at every possible level: college, semi-pro, Arena, CFL, NFL. … Once you see all that Cordy Glenn Jersey Elite , once you’ve proven to yourself that you can compete with the best, what more is there to do? I’m a competitor. I want to see what else I can learn and do and change in the world.”
As for the actual Sehorn, who at 45 is now a part-time broadcaster and full-time dad: “I wore sleeves for a reason,” he says. “Rarely will you find a photo of me in the NFL without long sleeves. I just didn’t want it to matter. To me, this whole [white cornerback] thing was never a race issue. I’ve always seen it as a cultural issue and a confidence issue. And that goes back to how I was raised.”
Sehorn’s youth in Sacramento featured a single mom, absent dad, Mom working a chair at a downtown hair salon near the array of apartment buildings where Jason and his kid brother packed and unpacked throughout childhood. “When I say dirt-poor, I mean Mom made maybe $25,000 a year,” Sehorn explains. “I remember buying milk with food stamps. Vividly. So, growing up, I was the minority. I was the outcast.鈥?#8230; I wore sleeves [in the NFL] because I just wanted to be a cornerback. I didn’t want to be a white cornerback.”
In the summer of 1993 Jalyn Holmes Jersey Elite , Sehorn was merely a backup safety at USC, a soon-to-be-senior who was struggling just to get on the field. “Jason was probably the most naturally gifted athlete on our team,” recalls Dennis Thurman, then the Trojans’ secondary coach and last year the Bills’ defensive coordinator. “We knew we only had one more year with him and that we had to find a place for him.”
Cornerback wasn’t an option, Thurman adds, “until I walked past the gym one afternoon and saw Jason playing basketball with [future Pro Bowl linebacker] Willie McGinest—backpedaling, sprinting, jumping, rebounding.鈥?#8230;”
Thurman’s decision to stroll past USC’s Lyon Center that day was the kind of cosmic intervention that white cornerbacks could have used to get over the hump the last couple of decades. And it’s what they’ll need going forward if they hope to break into an NFL lineup again.
To be fair, though, calling Sehorn the last of the white cornerbacks means ignoring the dozen or so snaps Dustin Fox played for the Eagles and the Bills in 2006 and ’07. It means overlooking Ethan Kilmer’s single magnificent snap as a corner for the Bengals in ’06, and it completely neglects another member of the Cincinnati secondary that season Customized Dallas Cowboys Jerseys , the real Sehorn—the last white player to start a regular-season NFL game at the position. (For the record, the tight-knit cornerback fraternity seems to respect Patriots receiver Julian Edelman for the spot duty he pulled over 13 regular season games in ’11—“I remember that,” says 14-year NFL cornerback Terence Newman, of the Vikings, “he played his ass off”—but none among them consider Edelman a real corner, especially since he has betrayed them by catching 377 passes over the last five seasons, each thrown. Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , Authentic Womens Weston Richburg Jersey , Authentic Womens John Kelly Jersey , Womens Jonathan Cooper Jersey ,