Trae Waynes (born July 25, 1992) is an American football cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan State. He was drafted by the Vikings in the first round, 11th overall of the 2015 NFL Draft.Contents
Waynes attended Harborside Academy but played for Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, because Harborside Academy doesn’t have sports where he was teammate and best friend of Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who would eventually be selected four spots after Waynes in the 2015 NFL Draft. At Bradford, Waynes was a multi-sport athlete in football, baseball and track. In football, Waynes was named first-team All-Southeast Conference as a junior in 2010. As a senior, he broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle, but still managed to record 38 tackles, two interceptions and four pass break-ups, earning first-team All-state and All-region selections by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. In baseball, Waynes earned first-team All-county honors as an outfielder as a junior in 2010 after leading the Red Devils in home runs (3) and finishing second in batting average (.452, 28-of-62). In addition, he also produced eight doubles and three triples while being caught stealing only once in 26 attempts.
Waynes was also a standout track & field athlete. In 2010, he won the county indoor track championship in the 60-yard and 220-yard dashes and recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.37 s) at the Midwest Ultimate 100 Camp. In 2011, he finished third in the 100m (10.85 s) at the Division I State T&F Championships, and recorded a career-best time of 10.75 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the SEC Outdoor Conference Meet, where he placed first. He also contributed as a member of the 4 × 100m and 4 × 200-meter relay squads, with bests of 42.26 seconds and 1:28.98 minutes.
Considered a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Waynes was listed as the No. 94 safety in the nation in 2011. He was rated the No. 72 cornerback and No. 94 safety in the nation by Scouts Inc.. He was listed among the Midwest's top prospects by SuperPrep at No. 67. He was also rated among Wisconsin's top high school seniors by Rivals.com as the No. 14. Waynes chose Michigan State over scholarship offers from Illinois, Iowa State and Wisconsin, among others.College career
Waynes attended Michigan State University from 2011 to 2014, where he was a three-year letterwinner and a two-year starter at cornerback. He was redshirted as a true freshman in 2011 after suffering a season-ending injury when he broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his knee as a senior in high school. Waynes collected 101 tackles, six interceptions and 13 pass deflections in 36 career games with the Spartans, including 27 consecutive starts.Freshman season (2012) See also: 2012 Michigan State Spartans football team
As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Waynes earned his first letter as he appeared in nine games, primarily on special teams and as a backup. In the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game against TCU, he played a majority of the snaps at cornerback and tallied a season-high three tackles; he was also credited with a half sack for a loss of 1 yard against the Horned Frogs. Waynes finished his freshman season with 5 tackles, including two solo.Sophomore season (2013) See also: 2013 Michigan State Spartans football team
As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, Waynes started all 14 games at field cornerback for the Spartans, recording a career-high 50 tackles (1.5 for loss), five pass deflections and three interceptions. For his season efforts, Waynes was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick by the coaches and media, was named to the CollegeFootballNews.com All-Sophomore Team (second team) and received MSU's Tommy Love Award (most improved player on defense). In the Spartans 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game win against No. 2 Ohio State, he was credited with four stops. In the 2014 Rose Bowl game against No. 5 Stanford, he recorded his third interception of the season and tallied three tackles, helping Michigan State win their first Rose Bowl since 1988.Junior season (2014) See also: 2014 Michigan State Spartans football team
Waynes returned for his junior season in 2014, starting all 13 games at boundary corner. He ranked sixth on the team with 46 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss and one sack for a loss of 4 yards. His career-high eight pass break-ups ranked him second on the team, while his three interceptions were good for a tie at second. In Week 5, he led the secondary in a victory over No. 19 Nebraska as he posted career-highs in interceptions (2), tackles (7) and pass break-ups (2). On September 6, he had a solid game against No. 3 Oregon with four tackles and a pass break-up. He was credited with a career-high two tackles for loss (9 yards), including a 4-yard sack, and a broken-up a pass at Indiana in Week 7. On November 22, he was selected Spartan Defensive Player of the Week after limiting Rutgers' wide receiver Leonte Carroo to just one catch for 6 yards while recording three tackles; Carroo entered the game ranked second in the Big Ten, averaging 93.3 receiving yards per game. In Waynes's final game as a Spartan, he registered three tackles and a pass break-up in the Cotton Bowl Classic win over #4 Baylor.
His senior season honors included being named second-team All-American by Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sporting News and Athlon Sports, third-team All-American from the Associated Press (AP), Phil Steele and SI.com (honorable mention). He was also a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and the media, becoming MSU's third first-team All-Big Ten cornerback under head coach Mark Dantonio. Waynes was one of 15 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) and was the defensive recipient of MSU's Jim Adams Award (unsung hero).Professional career
Following his junior season, Waynes entered the 2015 NFL Draft. Waynes was considered one of the top cornerbacks of the 2015 class, together with Marcus Peters. In most mock drafts, he was projected to be a top 10 pick. Waynes shined at the 2015 NFL Combine, where he posted the top 40-yard dash time among defensive backs and the second fastest overall (4.31 seconds); that time placed him tied for seventh-fastest among cornerbacks at the combine since 2003. He also finished tied for fourth on the bench press with 19 reps. At his Pro Day, he re-tried the 20-yard shuttle and responded with a 4.18 time.External video Waynes' NFL Combine workout Waynes gets drafted by Minnesota Pre-draft measurables Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP 6 ft 0 in
The Minnesota Vikings selected Waynes in the first round (11th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Waynes was the first cornerback drafted in 2015 and became the Minnesota Vikings' highest drafted cornerback in franchise history, surpassing 1994 first round pick (18th overall) Dewayne Washington. He signed a fully guaranteed four-year, $12.9 million deal with the Vikings that includes a $7.6 million signing bonus.2015
According to Pioneer Press Vikings beat reporter Chris Tomasson, Waynes was the least-used rookie of Minnesota’s 18 first-round picks since 2000, except linebacker Chad Greenway, who missed his 2006 rookie season due to a knee injury. He had a season-high two passes defensed in the Vikings' overtime win over the St. Louis Rams in Week 9. He was inactive for Minnesota’s game at Atlanta on November 29 due to an ankle injury. Waynes made his first career start in Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals when cornerback Terence Newman moved to safety because of injuries to other players, and finished the game with five tackles and a pass defensed. In the regular season, Waynes recorded 30 tackles (26 solo) and four passes defended in 14 games with only one start.
Waynes was thrust into a pivotal pass defense role during the second half of the Vikings' 10–9 wild card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks after veteran cornerback Terence Newman injured his ankle. On the Seahawks' first series of the third quarter, quarterback Russell Wilson promptly targeted Waynes, airing out a deep shot to rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett, but Waynes broke up the pass. Five plays later on a fourth-and-three situation, Waynes intercepted Wilson at the Vikings' 22-yard line after the ball was tipped by a Seahawks' tight end. The turnover led to Blair Walsh's second field goal of the game and a 6-0 Minnesota lead.2016
Waynes started in place of Xavier Rhodes, who was limited in practice with a hamstring injury, in the Vikings' win over the Tennessee Titans in the season opener. He was one of five players to play on all 67 of the Vikings' defensive snaps, and was matched up primarily with rookie wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, who had seven catches for 76 yards. Waynes again started in place of the injured Rhodes in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers. Early in the game, he struggled while covering Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams, and after drawing consecutive penalties in the third quarter, coach Mike Zimmer replaced him at outside cornerback with rookie Mackensie Alexander. He intercepted a pass by Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter to seal the first Vikings' victory in their new stadium.2017
In 2017, Waynes started all 16 games, recording a career-high 65 tackles, 11 passes defensed and two interceptions.2018
On April 30, 2018, the Vikings picked up the fifth-year option on Waynes' contract.Career statistics College Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck Sfty PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR FR YDS 2012 Michigan State 9 1 5 2 3 0.5 — 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 2013 Michigan State 14 14 50 35 15 2.0 — 5 3 11 3.7 11 0 0 1 0 2014 Michigan State 12 12 46 34 12 1.5 — 8 3 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 Totals 35 27 101 71 30 4.0 — 13 6 11 — 11 0 0 2 0 NFL Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck Sfty PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF FR YDs 2015 MIN 15 1 30 26 4 0.0 — 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 2016 MIN 15 8 50 42 8 0.0 — 11 3 4 1.3 4 0 0 0 0 2017 MIN 16 16 65 57 8 1.0 – 11 2 21 10.3 18 0 0 0 0 Totals 46 25 145 125 20 1.0 — 26 5 25 5.0 18 0 0 0 0