Rambo This Week's Tebow

Rambo This Week's Tebow

ATHENS – Coming off the practice field Wednesday, defensive ends coach Jon Fabris stopped freshman Baccari Rambo to tell him he thought the defensive back would make a great quarterback.

Fabris and the rest of the Bulldogs got a great taste of what Rambo could do under center this week as the freshman from Seminole County played the role of Tim Tebow on Georgia's scout team.

"He's a great guy, and I think that I best fit him," Rambo said of Tebow. "I can't throw like him, but I can run like him."

Rambo, who is redshirting this season, played quarterback in high school and filled in as Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson in Georgia's preparation for its game against the Commodores three weeks ago. Coaches were so impressed by his play, they immediately tagged him as the Bulldogs' Tebow clone.

"Rambo's been doing a pretty good job," defensive tackle Corvey Irvin said. "He's not as big as Tebow is, but he might as fast as Tebow and he's giving us a good look."

The extra work on offense has actually been a good thing for Rambo's future as a defensive back, too, he said.

Spending so much time studying some of the SEC's top offensive stars in order to mimic them on the practice field has given him a new perspective on how to handle his job on the other side of the ball.

"I'm starting to learn to a lot about defense by playing offense on the scout team," Rambo said. "Last week I played (LSU wide receiver) Brandon LaFell, and I was (learning) the defense real good and quicker."

Fellow true freshman Carlton Thomas has played the role of Percy Harvin this week, and the two have made the most of their opportunity to contribute, Irvin said.

It wasn't exactly how Rambo had hoped he would be helping the team win games this season, but he said if he is forced to be on the sideline on game day, he's happy to be making some important plays during the week.

"I really wanted to play this year, but I feel like I got redshirted because the coaches felt like that was what was best for me," he said. "I'll do whatever to help the team, go out and bust my tail on scout team, whatever."

Head coach Mark Richt said players have been cheering Rambo's performance in practice this week, even starting a "Rambo for Heisman" chant.

One player who has used the opportunity more for teasing than for praise, however, has been Rambo's cousin – linebacker Darryl Gamble.

"I'll be out there on the field, and he'll just be teasing me and stuff saying, ‘Come on, man, be like Tebow. Don't be like Rambo,' " Rambo said.

It's all in good fun for the cousins who, having grown up just miles from the Georgia-Florida state line, both have a special appreciation of this week's rivalry game.

Despite Rambo's new group of fans and rousing success at quarterback, however, he said his plans still include playing defense. After all, he doesn't think he's quite ready take over for the incumbent at his new position.

"No, (Matthew) Stafford is a good quarterback, man," Rambo said. "I can't beat out Stafford.

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