February 27, 2009

Rambo has a home

Like most of Georgia's freshmen defensive backs last season, Bacarri Rambo found himself practicing at a couple of different positions during his redshirt year.

This year, it appears his spot will be a bit more engraved in stone.

In an exclusive interview with UGASports, Rambo said he's been ticketed for strong safety when spring practice begins March 17 when he will begin competing for backup time behind starter Reshad Jones, who is moving over to the position after playing free safety his first two season.

"That's where I'm at right now," said Rambo, who worked out mostly at free safety last year. "We'll see what happens."

Rambo said being able to play strong safety is actually a boon for his development. Especially, he said, since, he spent much of his time watching C.J. Byrd's every move playing the position last fall.

"I always watched C.J. He knew how to make open-field tackles, a great leader and taught me a lot of stuff," Rambo said. "When I first got here I was having all kind of trouble with my footwork, especially my backpeddle. I used to fall down in the backpeddle pen, but he taught me how to overcome that and get through the drills."

Rambo always appreciated the help.

"Every time he saw me do something wrong he would pull me aside and help me with it," Rambo said. "He may not have been the best safety in the world, but he knew how to make open-field tackles. Whenever he got the chance to make a tackle, he made it."

Rambo has been keeping tabs on his former teammate as well.

The two visited during a recent trip back to Athens by Byrd, who has been working out in Duluth at Chip Smith's Competitive Edge Sports in preparation for April's NFL Draft.

"I've talked to him a couple of times to see how he's doing," Rambo said. "He's just trying to handle his business. I wish him the best of luck."

Rambo is trying to handle his business as well.

By his admission, going through mat drills for the first time has been more than a bit of a chore.

"I think I can make a big impact, but its (mat drills) is killing me," he said. "I'm not doing too well but I know I can do better. I've just got to get my mind right and just go out and do it."

That's pretty much the approach he took when asked by head coach Mark Richt to play some scout team quarterback last fall.

Turns out Rambo did a lot more than just help give a glimpse of the offenses the Bulldogs would be faking.

"We could put Bacarri in at quarterback and feel very good about it," Richt said earlier this year.

That shouldn't come as a complete surprise.

During his senior year at Seminole County High, Rambo rushed for 692 yards and 17 touchdowns while completing 34 of 75 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns.

"I enjoyed it, it was cool just being able to help the team," Rambo said. "If that meant playing quarterback, I was all for it."

Rambo laughed when asked what his reaction would be if Richt asked him to run a few plays for real.

"I'd try my best to get the job done," Rambo said. "Would he do it? I don't know. I guess time will tell."

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