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Countdown to Colts: Linebacker Jeremiah George

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

We’re officially under 60 days until regular season Colts football! Up today in the Countdown to Colts series, linebacker Jeremiah George.

The Journey

Before making his break into the NFL, George tied his laces up for the Cyclones of Iowa State. A slow grower at the position, George only totaled five tackles in 22 appearances his freshman and sophomore seasons. He’d break out as a junior, and would rank third on the team in tackles (87) — including three 10+ tackle games — while adding four tackles for loss and three pass breakups.

Expanding on a stellar junior season, George exploded his senior year as one of the best linebackers in football. A First Team All-Big 12, George racked up 133 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. His 11.1 tackles per game ranked fourth in the nation, and he led the entire Big 12 in total tackles.

Making his leap to the bigs on Day Three of the 2014 NFL Draft, George was selected by the New York Jets with the 154th pick in the fifth round. Despite signing a four-year deal, George was cut by the Jets the following September and was placed on the practice squad. Before the month of September, 2014 was up, George was picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He appeared in six games that season and totaled four tackles.

Almost a year later George was waived by the Jags and was claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2015, he appeared in 15 games and had one assisted tackle. He was re-signed to a one-year, $600,000 deal in April but was waived and subsequently signed by the Bucs twice between August 29 and September 3. Ending a pitiful cycle of uncertainty, George was added to the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys and spent the year there before getting cut in May of 2017.

On June 15 of 2017, the Indianapolis Colts brought George in on a two-year, $1.32 million contract. He appeared in all 16 games and started in one, tallying 15 tackles, 0.5 sack and one fumble recovery.

The Fit on the Roster

Of the nine linebackers listed on the Colts’ roster, George has the second-most experience in the NFL — behind only Najee Goode. He’s the shortest of the group (5’11”) and on the lighter side of the other linebackers at 234 pounds.

George is part of the thinnest group on the Indy roster. With four rookie linebackers and another entering just his second season, George adds not just a veteran presence, but a guy who is familiar with the Chris Ballard way. He is a hard worker who has dealt with the trials and tribulations of business in the NFL.

Moving Forward

Looking at George’s career path, it’d be easy to assume he wouldn’t have a spot on the roster for long. But, as I said earlier, this is the thinnest position on the roster.

While I think he would only hit the field as a rotational guy, he adds depth to the position and has experience in the league. Beyond this season — when George’s contract runs up — is tough to gauge, but with Indianapolis’ large amount of cap space and a plethora of young talent developing for the NFL game, I’d expect to see George elsewhere in 2019.