- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 2, 2015

Martrell Spaight’s journey to the NFL draft began at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. In a town of 10,000 people, the school is home to roughly 1,700 students. 

“It was a real grind,” Spaight said. “I learned a lot from my coach. He really taught me to stay focused and no matter what’s going on, just continue to handle my business.”

After two years, Spaight left Coffeyville to join the Arkansas football program. Two years after that, he was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins, with the 141st overall pick.

“Very productive player,” coach Jay Gruden said Saturday. “A one-year player who really did some things in college as a linebacker, physical linebacker. 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. Very tough player.”

Spaight played outside linebacker for the Razorbacks but will likely move inside with the Redskins. He also has significant special teams experience after spending the entirety of his college career on kickoff coverage units. 

“I’m a great leader,” Spaight said. “I go out there and every time I play, I just go out there and be productive. I feel like I can just elevate the defense every time I’m out there on the field.”

Originally from North Little Rock, Arkansas, Spaight recorded 128 tackles last season, the most by a Razorback in a single season in more than a decade. He also recorded 10 1/2 tackles for loss and forced two fumbles. He said he started out as an inside linebacker and moved outside when he transferred to Arkansas, so he feels comfortable in both roles.

“I know I’ve just got to be able to use my hands well,” he said. “That’s the area that I was really working on my senior year: to use my hands to get off blocks. I feel comfortable playing both 4-3 or 3-4. Just ready to go out there and prove I can play in that scheme.”

Spaight said he didn’t have much contact with Washington in the weeks leading up to the draft, but he couldn’t be more excited to be coming to Washington. He called it “a dream come true.”

“I’m ready to go to work,” he said.

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