Thurmond: Out here to represent UO
NEWARK, N.J. – Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond and center Max Unger said Tuesday they were proud to represent Oregon at Super Bowl XLVIII and hope to leave with championship rings.
Last year Baltimore tight end Ed Dickson, quarterback Dennis Dixon and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, all former Ducks, earned Super Bowl rings with the Ravens.
“Me and Max are out there you know, it’s a great opportunity,” Thurmond said during Tuesday’s Media Day at the Prudential Center. “I’m thankful to the whole University of Oregon for giving me a chance to play for them. Looking forward to continuing to represent them.”
Unger, a second-round pick in 2009, will start at center for the Seahawks. Thurmond, a fourth-round pick in 2010, will be the team’s nickel back.
Unger said his time in Eugene was special.
“I would love to live in Eugene again when it’s all over,” he said. “I think it’s an awesome city. I made a lot of friends there.”
Both played at Oregon when it was still in the midst of developing its state-of-the-art facilities and missed out on enjoying the new $68 million Football Operations Center that opened last year.
Unger, however, said he isn't disappointed that he missed out on experiencing the Taj Mahal of sports facilities.
“I don’t really think I wish I had any of that stuff,” he said. “We had a pretty amazing facility and we’ve just kind of built on that. Every class that leaves is a little bitter because there’s new stuff coming up every year.”
Thurmond was part of arguably the best secondary in UO history.
He, along with Cleveland safety T.J. Ward, Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd and Philadelphia safety Patrick Chung all played at Oregon together.
“During that time we felt like we were the best defensive back group in the country and it’s showing true now that we’re in the NFL,” Thurmond said. “I love those guys. Those guys are great men. Great players. And I’m glad I was able to play with them while I was at Oregon.”