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Accolades keep coming for Lofton

July 29, 2020 - 00:00
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  • Accolades keep coming for Lofton
  • Accolades keep coming for Lofton
    Curtis Lofton, above, with his all-decade team banner, inset. [Photos Provided]

Even in retirement, Curtis Lofton can’t help but haul in football honors.

The Kingfisher High School product was recognized earlier this month by the National Football League team that drafted him more than 12 years ago.

The Atlanta Falcons named Lofton to their “all-decade team” for the period of 2010-19. The franchise made its selections known on Twitter.

Lofton was selected to the team despite playing just two seasons for the Falcons during the decade before heading to New Orleans.

The tweet, released the morning of Monday, July 13, read: “In two seasons in Atlanta during the decade, @CurtisLofton50 became a run-stopper. Lofton recorded 265 tackles and 3 sacks during his last two seasons in Atlanta. Curtis Lofton, welcome to the All-Decade Team!”

The team was selected by national media, local Atlanta media, Falcons alumni and staff.

“What an honor!” replied Lofton on Twitter. “Means the world to my family and I.”

Family has a lot of Lofton’s attention these days.

After retiring from football in 2015, Lofton and his wife Jenny (Nichols, a former OU soccer player) started growing their family. Aaliyah turns 4 in September and Alani will be 2 in October.

Lofton has had interest shown in him by multiple NFL teams to enter the coaching ranks, but his wife and his daughters are winning the battle for his time.

“If I’m doing something, I want to be the best,” he said. “It takes a lot of dedicated time to be a successful NFL coach. Maybe if I were single, I could do it.

“But right now I want to focus on my family, being the best dad and the best husband.”

His time - since 2016, anyway - has had another focus: Earning his college degree.

Lofton’s NFL career began after his junior collegiate season and before he’d earned enough credits for his degree.

On top of fulfilling a promise to Vicky Jech – the mother of lifelong friend Ryan Jech who also played a big role in Lofton’s upbringing – many years ago to earn his degree, Lofton had something to prove to himself.

“I didn’t feel complete without getting that degree,” Lofton said.

Completion came in May when he received his bachelor’s in administrative leadership.

“That had been taking up a big part of my time,” Lofton said. “I had to put a lot of work into it.”

Outside of family, Lofton has his irons in multiple fires.

He does motivational speaking, is involved in the ministry and also has a stake in multiple business ventures as he and his family live in the home they built in Edmond.

Lofton started making headlines as a football player during his junior season at KHS.

Fresh off a standout sophomore season, Lofton had more than 140 tackles during the team’s historic run to the 2003 state championship.

Already on colleges’ radar, Lofton became one of the top recruits in Oklahoma for the Class of 2005.

Just before his senior season in 2004, Lofton committed to the University of Oklahoma.

He followed that up with another monster season for KHS as he tallied more than 160 tackles and helped the Jackets to a second straight undefeated regular season and back to the state semifinals.

Following the season, Lofton was named to the Parade All-American Team and earned Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State honors (he matched the OCA honor in basketball as well).

In college, Lofton’s junior year once again proved to be his breakout season.

In his first year as a full-time starter at middle linebacker in 2008, Lofton amassed the most tackles for any Sooner since the days of “three yards and a cloud of dust.”

He recorded 157 tackles (94 solo), 10.5 for a loss, three interceptions and had a knack for coming up with a big play.

His efforts led to a number of postseason honors, including being named the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and earning consensus All-American honors.

After racking up tackles and awards at both KHS and OU, Lofton declared for the 2008 NFL Draft after his junior season.

The Falcons drafted him in the second round and 37th overall.

Lofton played four seasons in Atlanta and started every game except one in his rookie season.

His final year for the Falcons was his most prolific as a pro.

He tallied a career-high 147 tackles, including nine for a loss. He also had career-highs with two interceptions and seven pass deflections.

In all, Lofton recorded 492 tackles for the Falcons, 352 of them solo.

His career then took him to New Orleans for three seasons where he started every game.

With the Saints, Lofton managed 392 tackles. He spent his final season - in 2015 - in Oakland before retiring.

For his career, Lofton amassed 948 tackles, 660 of them solo, 42 tackles for a loss, 11 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions, eight sacks, 20 quarterback hits and 25 pass deflections.

He started 120 of the 128 games in which he played.

Although he’s opting to be more of a family man now, football may not be completely out of his system.

“Down the road, coaching is something I’d potentially like to do,” he said. “Once my girls get older and I could dedicate more of my time to it, I would definitely consider it.”