Sept. 22, 2002
By John Martin – Georgia Tech senior linebacker Recardo Wimbush, who is married and a father of two, spends his spare time a little differently that most of his teammates.
“I change diapers every now and then but not many – not many at all,” said Wimbush with a smile.
He may shy away from the dirty work at home, but Wimbush welcomes it on the playing field. A four-year starter, he is more than happy to do the little things to help Tech’s defensive unit, which was a huge part of Tech’s 28-19 victory over Brigham Young Saturday.
“I’m a person that leads by action,” Wimbush said. “If you tell me to do something, then I’ll do it. If you tell me to cover a wide receiver, I’ll go do that even though I’m a linebacker. My role is to go out there and play hard and have fun every play.”
Wimbush was an important part of Tech’s strong defensive performance against the Cougars. He recorded seven tackles and forced and recovered a fumble by BYU quarterback Bret Engemann in the first quarter that helped set the tone for the afternoon. Tech limited the high-powered BYU offense to 19 points.
“The quarterback was their main person,” Wimbush said. “He started everything. We got after him early, and they brought in their other quarterback (Lance Pendleton), who is more of a runner. That kind of slowed their game down. That’s not what they do, and that’s kind of changed the game around.”
While the defense did its part in toppling the Cougars, the offense may have suffered a major blow with a knee injury to starting running back Tony Hollings. If Tech is forced to go without its standout rusher, Wimbush knows the defense will have to step it up. “We have to hold on until the offense can get it going, because Tony was a major part of the offense,” said Wimbush. “They had just started clicking with him in there. Now they may have to readjust, so we’ll just have to keep things grounded until they get things situated with the offense. But until then we’re just going to play hard and try to shut people out.”
In Tech’s four outings, he has recorded a team-high 27 tackles, including one tackle for loss. The Blakley, Ga., native has also forced a pair of fumbles.
But leading the Jackets in hits is nothing new for Wimbush, who has 308 career stops, which ranks 14th on Tech’s career list. He also has recorded 27 tackles for loss to stand ninth in Jacket history. Wimbush, who has started 41 straight games, has led the team in tackles in two of the last three seasons, averaging 94 per season entering 2002.
As hard as Wimbush plays on the field, he works just as hard off it, balancing the role of husband, father and student. But he has a great deal of help from his wife, Therian.
“It’s hard, but my wife helps me,” said Wimbush, a Management major. “If I’m not able to be there, she does most of the cooking and cleaning. She does all the major work around the house. She lets me focus on football and school because she knows that’s going to take up a lot of my time. I really appreciate having her there. She’s a great woman and she does a lot for me and our family. I’m just happy to have her.”
Wimbush’s children, two-year-old Recardo, Jr., and Joy, who is approaching her first birthday, are happy to have a famous dad.
“My son sees me on TV and he’s saying ‘daddy, daddy, daddy’ all the time,” says Wimbush. “I bring the media guide home and he goes through it and points out pictures of me. It puts me in awe. I’m glad to be a parent and have someone to look up to me like that.”
Wimbush also says that having children at home can help him get over a tough day on the field very quickly.
“You can be tired. You can be frustrated, but you can walk through the door and have two kids loving you and running to the door and hugging on you. It makes you feel good.”