Before he even played a down in Athens Bacarri Rambo was clearly a "special" athlete. I continue to believe that had he chosen to do so, he could have been an excellent option quarterback for someone. And while he never played in the backfield in Athens Rambo made his mark early and often.
As a freshman in 2009 Rambo notched 25 stops and 2 interceptions. But no play was as big as the stop he made in the Auburn game, when he jarred the ball loose from Mario Fannin, saving a potential game-tying touchdown. Rambo was knocked unconscious and has no memory of the play. But it made him an instant hero among the Bulldog faithful.
Things have never seemed to be easy for Bacarri Rambo. There was that play which could have ended his All-American career before it even really got started. During his junior season he lost his soon-to-be-born son, Braylin, 10 days before his delivery date. There was a spring break incident before his senior season which led to a four game suspension. But he's persevered through all of that and left Athens with 16 career picks and a spot among the pantheon of ball-hawking safeties who have gone from the Classic City to the NFL.
Bacarri Rambo is a versatile safety. He's not really the best you'll find at any one skill, but his skills and attributes are sufficient across the board. At 6'0 flat he lacks ideal height for an NFL safety. But he packs a stout 215 pounds on that frame, which allows him to lay a pretty good lick on opposing ball carriers. His coverage skills aren't the best out there, and I have a hard time imagining him in a hybrid role where he could also play corner.
But he didn't pick off 8 passes in 2011 by just standing there. Rambo is opportunistic and has above average hands. If he's near it, he'll usually come down with it. He's also one of the best you'll see at reading the quarterback's eyes and the receiver's route to get to the right place at the right time to make a play. "Instinctive" is an overused term so far as defensive backs are concerned, but for Rambo it's wholly appropriate. The guy just has a knack for finding the football.
I believe Bacarri Rambo has the ability to become a fan favorite in Washington much the same way he was at Georgia. He has the physical tools and the grit to be a perennial contributor, and I hope that's exactly what happens. It's the least a guy who literally knocked himself silly for us deserves. Until later . . .