EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Walter Thurmond, who last month started Super Bowl XLVIII for the champion Seattle Seahawks, now has a chance to enjoy frequent success in MetLife Stadium.
He comes to New Jersey after spending his first four NFL seasons with Seattle, which selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 111th overall selection from Oregon.
"I wanted to meet other teams and see what was out there," Thurmond said. "Once I came here and met the coaching staff and heard the opportunities they presented to me, I couldn't resist. It was a testament to the coaching staff. I got along with everybody, coach (Tom) Coughlin, the general manager (Jerry Reese), the DBs coaches – just great people out here."
Thurmond, 26, played in 34 regular-season games with eight starts and made his only start in five postseason games in the Super Bowl. He was limited to six games in 2011 and two in 2012 because of injuries.
In 2013, Thurmond played in 12 regular-season games with three starts. He missed four games while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Thurmond returned for the regular-season finale vs. St. Louis and played in all three postseason games.
His career totals include 80 tackles (63 solo) and one interception, which he returned 29 yards for a touchdown last Nov. 17 in a victory over Minnesota. In the postseason he has nine tackles (five solo) and a pass defensed, including three tackles (one solo) in Seattle's rout of Denver in the Super Bowl.
"Only 19 teams have won a Super Bowl," Thurmond said. "To be a part of that group is a tremendous honor. The New York Giants have been able to do that four times in their history. When you do it once, you want to keep going back.
"I'm a competitor. I play the game to win championships. The Giants organization has a lot of prestige, a lot of history in that aspect of winning four Super Bowls. We want to bring another one here."
Now he joins a group of Giants cornerbacks that currently includes Prince Amukamara, Jayron Hosley and Trumaine McBride.
"I'm all about competition," Thurmond said. "I know they have a need here. I'm going to bring my work ethic and make the most of the opportunity they're going to give me."
Thurmond has spent his entire life on the West Coast. He grew up in Southern California, where, as a senior, he led West Covina High School to CIF Southern Section Division VII championship and an 11-2-1 record. Thurmond played in 41 games at the University of Oregon, where he intercepted 12 passes and scored five touchdowns. He played in only four games as a senior after injuring his knee returning a kickoff vs. California.
From Oregon he moved up the coast to Seattle. Now he is coming east to help the Giants rebound after their disappointing 2013 season.
"I feel great about it," he said. "I think my time on the West Coast has expired and I'm looking forward to a new change of scenery."