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Martrell Spaight Brings It On Every Play

Put linebacker Martrell Spaight on the field, and he'll give it everything he has on every play. The Arkansas product says he'll also be comfortable in the Washington Redskins' 3-4 defensive scheme. 

If there's one thing Redskins head coach Jay Gruden believes will be certain for linebacker Martrell Spaight, it's that he'll leave his mark on the football field.

A 6-foot, 236 pounder out of Arkansas, Spaight plays with a desire that the Redskins simply couldn't pass on in the fourth round of this past weekend's draft.

Check out these photos of Arkansas linebacker Martrell Spaight, the 141st-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Martrell, Gruden said, is a "very productive player" at the linebacker position.

"A one-year player who really did some things in college as a linebacker, physical linebacker," he said. "Makes a ton of plays. Very, very productive in the games that he played. Very exciting. He likes to hit, you can see that. He doesn't back down from any contact. He'll be a player to be reckoned with. I promise you that."

Spaight's hitting, in fact, earned him a nickname from the very first practice in which he participated with Arkansas: "Spaighting."

While he's hoping to continue being recognized for some big tackles, Spaight also wants to go out and give it his all on every play.

That's why he models his game after Broncos linebacker Danny Trevthan.

"He'll go out there and give a hundred percent every play and just try to make plays all over the field," Spaight said of Trevthan. "We just try to be the best we can possibly be at our position and just help everyone else's game around us. So, I would say Danny Trevathan."

An All-SEC selection last season at defensive end, Spaight recorded a team-high 128 tackles while also forcing two fumbles and tallying an interceptions.

Now with the Redskins in Joe Barry's 3-4 scheme, Spaight will be asked to move over to linebacker, an adjustment he's comfortable making.

"I know I just have got to be able to use my hands well and it is an area that I was really working on during my senior year to use my hands to get off of blocks," he said. "I feel comfortable playing a 4-3 or a 3-4. Just ready to go out there and prove I can play in that scheme."

And whether it's outside linebacker or inside linebacker, Spaight has a little bit of experience at both.

"I feel comfortable playing outside but as well as inside," he said. "I actually started off my career playing linebacker at inside 'backer and I did that. Once I went to college, they transferred me and put me at outside 'backer. So I feel comfortable playing at each, whether it's outside or inside.  But whatever the team feels is best for me for their scheme, I'm going to go out there and give it my all and just go out there and just try to make plays."

In Spaight's first-ever SEC game against Texas A&M in 2013, Spaight, in front of a national audience, made perhaps the play of the game when he walloped an Aggies kick returner.

As they collided at around the 20-yard line, Spaight hit the returner with so much force that it instantly knocked him to the ground.

"I started out playing [special teams] – I always played kickoff and kickoff return and R4, L4 depending on the team we were playing," he said. "I did punt [coverage]. For the most part, I was more of a backup guy on punt and punt return but I always did all those special teams."

As he joins a defensive unit that includes three-time Pro Bowler DeAngelo Hall and standout linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, Spaight believes he'll not only be able to contribute, but hopes to improve their games so as well.

"I go out there and every time I play, I just go out there and be productive," he said. "I feel like I can just elevate the defense every time I am out there on the field."




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