The early word out of Seattle is that the Seahawks believe they doubled their pleasure with their new Utah State connection — second-round LB Bobby Wagner and fourth-round RB Robert Turbin. Wagner was often referred to as “a tackling machine” at Utah State, where he started all four seasons and played all three LB positions. He might not be quite on a par with Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly, who ended up being a top-10 pick by the Panthers (ninth). But with good speed and excellent athleticism, Wagner is expected to start the offseason as the Seahawks’ starting middle linebacker, replacing David Hawthorne, the team’s leading tackler in each of the last three seasons, who signed with the Saints.
Once free-agent addition Barrett Ruud is fully recovered from a variety of lingering injuries, we hear Ruud could also see considerable action at middle linebacker, with Wagner moving more to the weak side, where he would share time with returning starter Leroy Hill. “They immediately feel they became more athletic (at linebacker), that’s for sure,” said one team insider of the addition of Wagner. “They love guys — like K.J. Wright last year — who can play multiple (LB) positions.”
We hear they also love the muscular Turbin, who has earned rave reviews from the team, both on and off the field. “(RB coach) Sherman Smith said that he’s never seen a more impressive interview in his 18 years in the league,” the insider said of Turbin, who rushed for 1,517 yards at Utah State last season after returning from a torn ACL the previous season. “He’s got great character, a good kid who has helped take care of his sister, who has cerebral palsy. And he provides the same kind of physical, inside presence and force as Marshawn (Lynch), which is something Pete (head coach Pete Carroll) has been talking about wanting actually more of since the end of the season.”
Just how beastly a backup will Turbin, who was nicknamed “The Hulk” at Utah State, be for Lynch, who had a heavy workload last season but certainly seemed no worse for the wear?
“Look for Turbin to get up to a handful of touches per game,” the insider said.