Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Welcome Back: Marcus Washington

Georgia had a number of players miss significant time or the entire year during the 2008 campaign. The first of those players we will be spotlighting is senior middle linebacker, Marcus Washington.

Marcus Washington, #44

Georgia's linebacking crew for the 2009 season appears to be one of the deepest groups that the team has ever had. With Rennie Curran, Daryll Gamble, Akeem Dent, Darius Dewberry, and Akeem Hebron all coming back, the linebackers hope to return Georgia's D to the form it showed during the 2007 season. One of the pieces that should help return to the '07 form is the man who played the key role in solidifying the defense two years ago.

When Washington went down with a shoulder injury during the spring of 2008, I had a bad feeling he would be out for the season. There were rumors that he would be back for Alabama, and then it was LSU, but by the time the season rolled around, we all knew he was gone for the year.

Before the 2007 season, Washington's three years in Athens had seen him make minimal contributions on the field while spending a large amount of time in the trainer's room. But following spring practice, Washington was named Most Improved Linebacker and proved he was force to be reckoned with that fall. While still battling injuries, Washington became a stabilizing force in the middle of the Georgia defense. He made his first career start in the overtime victory at Alabama, recording a career high 8 tackles and a sack. After missing the Tennessee and Vanderbilt games, he came back to make six tackles (including a sack) in the upset victory over Florida in Jacksonville. Georgia finished the season strong and Washington finished with a career high 40 tackles on the season.

The outlook for 2009 is bright, as Marcus Washington returns to solidify an experienced Georgia linebacking corp. Expect Washington to play extensively off the bench, particularly in situations where Georgia sends linebackers on blitzes. Washington and Gamble both took snaps at rushing DE in spring and I expect coach Martinez to use this formation early in the season with Justin Houston out. Washington is an extremely good tackler and he should help remedy some of the tackling issues that plagued the D in '08.

The Dawg Nation welcomes a Damn Good Dawg, Marcus Washington, back for his senior season!

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