Perhaps the most interesting aspects of the signing of Marcus West is the timing of it, and what we've heard from a source close to the NFL.
West is the first undrafted free agent signed following the wave that hit immediately following the draft. And it's interesting to note that another defensive lineman, Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns just finished pleading "not guilty" to charges of disorderly conduct and menacing in an incident outside a nightclub. While West played defensive end at Memphis, and Burns is a defensive tackle on the Colts depth chart, the two are the same weight, with West holding a two-inch height advantage over Burns. And according to our source, the Colts are considering West as a defensive tackle prospect. Just as they moved Burns inside after drafting him as a defensive end out of Kentucky, our source says that they are going to first consider West inside. Since he played in a two-man front for a portion of last year, he showed that he has the versatility to work from practically any spot on the defensive line.
Burns has a June 2nd court date, and it's highly doubtful that the Colts would make a roster move until this matter is settled legally and his guilt or innocence is determined. But it appears they may be considering some options in case they do need to make a change on the depth chart.
West was the Memphis player that participated in the Motor City Bowl who was selected for the "On the Move" award which recognizes outstanding sportsmanship in athletics and good citizenship on and off the field that contributes to a positive team atmosphere. Community support and leadership are key factors in determining the annual selection. West worked with children at area school camps, visited a kindergarten class to read to them and play with them at recess and was the Defensive Player of the Year for the Tigers. He earned his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in December, 2004.
In addition to leading the Tigers' defense in 2005, he was named to the Conference USA first-team in 2005 after earning second-team honors in 2004. In 2004, he also received the Glenn Jones Award for leading through desire, dedication and courage at the Blue-Gray Game in the spring.
West's success both as a defensive lineman and on special teams is built
largely on his speed and quickness, which is even more impressive when you
consider that he had to recover from a broken hip in 2001 after appearing in
just two games. In 2003, a turf-toe injury sidelined him for three games. But
over the last two seasons, he started every game for the Tigers.