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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Washington Back at Long Last

For all the hard work the players have put in on the field this spring, Mark Richt said there hasn't been many changes on the team's depth chart at this point.

While the spring game could certainly shake things up, and a bevy of players returning from injuries will be added to the mix, the most notable change to Georgia's rotation has been the promotion of Marcus Washington to the No. 2 unit at Mike linebacker ahead of Marcus Dowtin.

"He's getting in better shape, and he played like a veteran," Richt said of Washington, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. "It wasn't so much that Dowtin did awful or anything like that. It was more of a promotion than it was a demotion for Marcus."

Washington said he isn't necessarily satisfied with his spring performance, but considering how long it had been since he saw any real action, it has definitely been a step in the right direction.

"I basically had to sit out a whole year, and I had to get myself into football shape," Washington said. "You can get into shape, but it's a lot different than being in football shape, and I think I'm at that point right now."

As much as Washington has spent the spring getting into shape physically, he said the chance to finally get out on the field and start laying out a few hits again has done a lot for him mentally.

A year away from the game he loves was difficult, and now that he's back at work, he couldn't be happier.

"Sitting out the whole year, you're watching your guys out there every day practicing or in the games and you can't play, it hurts, and it sits with you in your heart," Washington said. "When you get back out there, you're like, 'OK, this is what I've been missing.'"


jferg said...

I am a big fan of Marcus'. He's what I consider a typical middle LB..big, strong, and can take on both OL and FB blocks and plug up holes. Our middle should be very stout this year...

For those of us that didn't play high level football, can you help explain "in shape" versus "in football shape"? Does that refer to getting used to hitting people and pushing people versus pushing weights?

David Hale said...

Yeah, it's pretty much what you think... beyond simply getting stronger or faster, he's talking about being able to handle the grind of football, the hitting, pushing yourself beyond exhaustion. Think mat drills... just being "in shape" doesn't prepare you for that. It takes more.