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Suspension Helped Rambo Prioritize Life


As a junior at Georgia, safety Bacarri Rambo was a rising star, ranking second in the nation with eight interceptions to go with his 82 tackles and three forced fumbles.

Early mock drafts had him tabbed as high as a first to second-round talent, with comparison's to NFL safety Ed Reed.

If nothing else, he was one of the top players in the SEC headed into the 2012 season.

But his fast-track to success was detoured last offseason, as the officials at Georgia announced a four-game suspension for violation of team rules.

This was Rambo's second violation of of the school's alcohol and drug policy, a mistake he never intended to make twice, and says he will never make again.

"It was a very selfish decision I made, but I grew from it," he told the media after the Redskins selected him with the 191st overall pick. "It helped me put my priorities in order and just take every moment as it comes. It helped me be a better person, mentally strong."

After his suspension, Rambo returned and made and impact in Georgia's final nine games, totaling 76 tackles, three interceptions, one sack and three forced fumbles.

He credited the Georgia coaching staff and his fellow Bulldogs for forgiving him and welcoming him back from what he called a devastating mistake.

"I hit adversity and all, and I overcame with my teammates. I'm just happy to be where I'm at right now," he said. "I understand where [critics are] coming from but that's behind me.

"That's my past. I can't control my past. All I can do is just grow from it."

Even in the moment, Rambo said the draft day experience was humbling, as he saw himself slide from a top safety prospect to the real possibility of going undrafted.

"I thought everybody had forgotten about me," he said, with emotion wavering his voice. "I was sitting here praying, asking God to give me one team to like me. Then the Redskins called, and it's just a blessed moment.

"I thank the organization for believing in me."

Rambo said his selection, even in the late rounds, gives him a chance to take the next step in his career and prove the other 31 teams wrong.

"It was very hard because I felt like a lot of [the other safeties] weren't near the guy I was, but everything happens for a reason," he said. "It put a big chip on my shoulder, so I'll just have to go out there and prove it to everybody."

Rambo confirmed that he met with the Redskins' coaching staff during the NFL Scouting Combine, and he was pleased to go to a team with an open competition at safety.

"It's going to make me a better player, making me strong and make me go play harder," he said, indicating he can play either position. "I can go help that team as much as I can with my talents and be around that great group of guys and learn from them."

"Whatever benefits me to help the team. That's all it's about. It's about the team now."

Despite being drafted into an immediate competition with fellow rookie Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo looked at the situation as an opportunity for both players to help each other learn.

"I think he's another great safety and I know he was feeling the same way I was feeling, watching all those guys go above us," Rambo said. "But now we're together and will hopefully get a chance to play right beside each other, not playing the same position.

"We can go show everybody we'll be the best duo in the country."




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