By Casey Olson, Sidelines
Shaun Bodiford grew up in Federal Way dreaming of playing professional football. That goal was accomplished last season when he made the Detroit Lions’ roster as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State.
The 5-foot-11 wide receiver/kick returner was eventually released by Detroit, before catching on with the Green Bay Packers.
Another one of his goals is to suit up in the NFL Playoffs, which will happen Saturday when Bodiford’s Packers team will host the beloved Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field.
Bodiford hasn’t made a very big contribution to the Packers’ success during their 13-3 regular season. The 2002 Federal Way High School grad played in six games and was inactive for seven during the year. Bodiford’s most productive playing time came in Green Bay’s final game of the regular season against Detroit. He saw extensive action at wide receiver and caught one pass for 18 yards. It was the first and only catch of his career on a fourth-quarter third-and-1 play. The drive resulted in a field goal. All his other playing time this season has been on special teams.
It’s still up in the air whether Bodiford will be active for Saturday’s playoff game against the Seahawks. But be on the lookout for No. 19 in green.
Bodiford 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.”
He had 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 a season ago.
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 Seahawks in August.
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 for a second time.
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 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.
So, in a perfect world, the Seahawks will win in a blowout and Bodiford will get some playing time.
It’s playoff time in the National Football League. And that means two things — the Seahawks are in the postseason mix and everybody’s fantasy football season is over and done with.
The Federal Way Mirror jumped into the fantasy world this season, organizing a 12-team league that included 10 readers, along with myself and editor Andy Hobbs. The Timeout Ale House was kind enough to donate a $100 gift certificate to the winner.
It is with great humility that I announce that I won the Mirror’s first-ever fantasy football championship. Casey’s Crushers defeated milehighstar in the championship game.
Is this shocking? Not really. I guess as a sports editor, I’m supposed to know about sports. But what is shocking, is the fact that I didn’t have Tom Brady, Randy Moss or Tony Romo on my team. I did it the old-fashioned way — I earned it.
I rode the legs of Minnesota rookie running back Adrian Peterson and the Colts’ Joseph Addai, as well as the arm of Carson Palmer. I withstood injuries to receivers like Javon Walker and Andre Johnson and a three-game absence from Peterson.
So, I guess I’m not using great humility and I’m looking forward to repeating next year. Hopefully, I can get enough teams to put a league together, knowing that I will be playing.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org