FLORENCE — Just two days after adding Florida transfer Jarnoris Jenkins to its roster, North Alabama has signed another former SEC player.
Former Georgia linebacker Marcus Dowtin officially signed with the Lions on Friday. He will have one season of eligibility remaining at UNA.
Dowtin played in ten games for the Bulldogs in 2010, starting two. He lettered three years for the Bulldogs.
“I had committed to play at Northwest Missouri, but UNA had been on my mind since I visited here,” Dowtin said. “I saw a lot of things here that I liked. The staff and the facilities are great, and coach (Terry) Bowden’s background was also a factor in my decision.”
Dowtin ranked fourth on the team with 57 total tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2010. He also intercepted one pass. His recorded a career-high 10 tackles against Florida and again against Auburn.
In three seasons with the Bulldogs, Dowtin had 131 total tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Several reports indicated that Dowtin fell out of favor with Georgia coaches after being involved in a bar fight in his home state of Maryland in the spring of 2010. Dowtin said the incident was not a factor in his leaving Georgia.
“The media made a big deal out of nothing,” he said. “I did not punch anyone and I was not charged or arrested. They investigated the incident and nothing came from it.
“I had already started thinking about transferring. I just didn’t feel like I was getting the opportunity to go out and play to my ability. I feel like at UNA, I’ll get a chance to show what I can do.”
UNA defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro said Dowtin should bring a physical presence at middle linebacker.
“Marcus has good size and should step right in at the Mike spot,” Pecoraro said.
“He played a lot at Georgia, so he’s an experienced play. He’ll remind our fans of Michael Johnson, and we’re hoping he’s that same type of player.”
Dowtin is eager to begin working with his new teammates as they prepare for the 2011 season. He plans on bringing a lot of intensity to the UNA defense.
“I’m a wild dude on the field,” he said. “I love to hit and play the game with a lot of intensity. I want to lead by example and get everybody excited.
“I know we have a lot of outstanding players at UNA. If we can all come together as a team we should have a good shot at winning a championship.”
Jeff McIntyre can be reached at 256-740-5737 or jeff.mcintyre@TimesDaily.com.