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White Eager to 'Get On the Field'

Posted Apr 20, 2012

Markus White, a 2011 seventh-round draft pick, learned plenty watching Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo last season. Like them, White transitioned from defensive end in college to outside linebacker in the pros.


Ryan Kerrigan wasn’t the only Redskins defensive rookie undergoing a position change last year.

Markus White, picked six rounds after Kerrigan in the 2011 NFL Draft, transitioned from defensive end in college to outside linebacker as well.

White learned plenty watching Kerrigan – as well as Brian Orakpo, who also transitioned from defensive end to outside linebacker as a rookie in 2009 – last season.

“They have been through the same thing I'm going through,” White said. “For the most part, I’ve seen their transition. I learned a lot just by watching them. Now I’m not worried as much about the transition as much as I used to be. I feel like I have the plays down mentally.”

As a seventh-round draft pick, White did not get on the field much as a rookie last season. He played in just two games, seeing action primarily on special teams, and was inactive for 14.

“For the most part, [last year] was a learning experience,” White said. “In practice, playing behind two first-rounders isn’t bad – just knowing that I’m not on the field means we have some talented players.”

The West Palm Beach, Fla., native brings great size to the outside linebacker position – he is 6-4 and 262 pounds.

A two-year starter at right defensive end for Florida State, White logged 131 tackles (including 28.5 for a loss), 11 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his college career.

Playing linebacker in the NFL, pass rushing still came easy to him. The toughest transition was learning to cover running backs and tight ends in passing situations.

When it comes to special teams, White stayed focused on the details.

“The little things count at this level,” he said. “You might get away with some of that in college, but not here.”

White was regarded as a high-motor player in college, but he knew he needed to refine his technique at the NFL level. That’s his goal this offseason and hopes it earns him more playing time.

“On the [college] level, the guy with the most energy might win out, but here it’s that guy who has the best technique and the energy level who usually prospers,” he said.

He is eager to apply what he has learned in preseason, even though he knows Orakpo and Kerrigan are going to get the bulk of playing time. (Kerrigan played every defensive snap last season.)

“For the most part, I’m ready to get on the field,” White said. “No matter what, I know I’m always going to bring my 'A' game as much as I can. I always enjoy going out there and having fun.”