Sports

Federal Way’s Shaun Bodiford back with Green Bay

Shaun Bodiford’s journey around the National Football League is back in a familiar place. The Federal Way High School graduate was signed by the Green Bay Packers on Monday.

The kick returner/wide receiver played in three games last season with the Packers before being placed on injured reserve after suffering a shin injury while returning a kickoff against Minnesota.

“I was trying to make something happen,” Bodiford said. “The coaches said this is your week and spring one. I just wanted to get that first kickoff going so I hit the hole pretty hard.”

Bodiford had played six games with the Packers and Detroit Lions and had been handling punt and kickoff return duties. He was averaging 16.2 yards on five kickoff returns and 4.2 yards on six punts. He also had three tackles on special teams.

Bodiford earned a spot on the Detroit Lions’ roster last year during training camp, but was released by the team in October before being snatched up by the Packers.

Bodiford rehabbed hard in the offseason and was on track to make an impact with the Packers this year before suffering another leg injury while running back a kickoff during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks in August. Bodiford was upended by Seattle’s C.J. Wallace and taken by cart back to the team’s Lambeau Field training room.

He was then cut by the Packers before the start of the regular season and claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins. Bodiford was on the Redskins’ roster for the first two weeks of the regular season before being released and signed by the Packers.

While at Federal Way High School, Bodiford lettered twice in football and track and was the Eagles’ offensive player of the year as a senior in 2001. As a running back, he rushed for 970 yards and 12 touchdowns and earned second-team All-South Puget Sound League honors. He was also all-league as a cornerback with 65 tackles and five interceptions as a senior.

Bodiford was born into difficult circumstances and ultimately found himself homeless at the beginning of his high school career. He bounced between the homes of friends, relatives and teammates for four years while struggling to stay academically eligible.

Former Federal Way assistant and current Decatur head football coach Leon Hatch petitioned the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) to allow Bodiford a fifth year of eligibility because of his personal situation and eventually allowed him into his home.

The 5-foot-11, 187-pound Bodiford then went on to star at Portland State University after attending Butte (Calif.) Junior College his freshman and sophomore seasons.

He led Portland State with 51 catches for 545 yards and five touchdowns as a senior, but wasn’t invited to the NFL Draft Combine and signed with Detroit as a free agent following the seven-round draft.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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