A.J. Klein: Video Highlights for Former Iowa State ILB
Iowa State inside linebacker A.J. Klein made his mark with four interception returns for touchdowns in his collegiate career, tying the FBS record for linebackers.
The 6'1", 250-pound senior might not wow anyone with speed or athleticism, but he makes up for it with instinct and intelligence.
Klein shared the 2011 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Award with Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander. He had 117 tackles, according to NFL.com, 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and six passes defended.
In 2012, Klein again made 117 tackles, 3.5 of them for loss, to go with his fourth career pick-six and was named to the Coaches All-Big 12 first team.
NFL Draft Scout labels Klein a "passionate defender" and also says he impressed at his pro day workout April 8 despite a sore right knee.
Klein was voted a team caption as a junior and senior.
87-Yard Pick-Six vs. Texas Tech
Sept. 29, 2012
Klein's fourth and final interception return for a touchdown at Iowa State came in this home game against Texas Tech.
With the game scoreless in the first quarter, Texas Tech faced a 3rd-and-8 from the Cyclones' 17-yard line.
Klein's instincts were apparent on this play when he headed toward the passing lane before Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege threw the ball. Klein was in front of the the intended receiver when the ball was released. He picked it off at the 13 and took it 87 yards to open the game's scoring.
Despite Klein's touchdown, Texas Tech dealt Iowa State its first loss of the year, 24-13.
78-Yard Pick-Six at Missouri
Oct. 15, 2011
Iowa State lost this game at Columbia, Mo., 52-17, but at least this play shows that Klein keeps his head in the game no matter how bleak the situation.
The Cyclones trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and just lost a fumble at their own 27-yard line. That didn't deflate Klein's spirits. On the next play, he intercepted Missouri quarterback James Franklin and ran it back 78 yards for the touchdown.
25-Yard Pick-Six vs. Northern Iowa
Sept. 25, 2010
This pick-six at home against Northern Iowa was Klein's second in as many weeks.
Klein provided the final touchdown in the Cyclones' 27-0 victory by intercepting Panthers' quarterback Tirrell Rennie late in the third quarter. Klein stepped in front of a receiver who already was covered to pilfer a pass that didn't have a ton of zip on it.
69-Yard Pick-Six at Kansas State
Sept. 18, 2010
Klein's first touchdown on an interception return wouldn't be his last. Two years later, it led this highlight video that talked about Klein's penchant for the pick-six.
Iowa State lost this game at Kansas State 27-20, but Klein gave the Cyclones a 13-10 lead early in the third quarter when he returned this Carson Coffman pass to the end zone.
Pressure Forces Brandon Weeden Interception
Nov. 18, 2011
Oklahoma State was ranked No. 2 by ESPN at the time and entered Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa 10-0, 7-0 in the Big 12.
The game was scoreless in the first quarter when Klein came up the middle untouched and got in the face of Brandon Weeden, hurrying the future NFL quarterback into an interception by Jacques Washington at the Iowa State 20.
It was the first of Weeden's three interceptions as the Cyclones stunned the Cowboys 37-31 in double overtime, foiling their national championship hopes.
Fourth-Quarter Sack at TCU
Oct. 6, 2012
Klein didn't even have to deal with a blocker on this play. He fooled the man who would have blocked him with his pass-rush moves and used his speed to get into the backfield and get his hands on TCU quarterback Matt Brown.
Brown didn't go down right away, but Klein wrapped him up around the ankles and showed the tenacity to complete the sack for a five-yard loss.
That play on third down forced TCU to kick a field goal and narrow its deficit to 30-23, but the Cyclones added a touchdown to seal their 37-23 road win.
Penetrating the Backfield at East-West Shrine Game
Jan. 19, 2013
Klein must have caught the eyes of some scouts with this read-and-react play less than five minutes into the game.
On a handoff to Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham, Klein disrupted the play by grabbing Graham's right ankle. South Carolina's DeVonte Holloman came in and made the tackle, but Klein's penetration doomed the play from the start.
Stuffing Ray Graham for a Loss at East-West Shrine Game
Jan. 19, 2013
Klein did his impersonation of a brick wall on this play, swallowing up Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham for a one-yard loss late in the first half.
Graham likely needs no introduction to Klein, who helped the West defeat the East 28-13 in this collegiate showcase at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Stopping Baylor's Jarred Salubi for No Gain
Oct. 27, 2012
Klein appeared to drop into coverage on this play, but when Baylor running back Jarred Salubi got the ball, Klein showed his hustle in run support and stopped him for no gain on first down at the Baylor 27.
The Bears led 14-7 at the time but went three-and-out on this series early in the second quarter. The Cyclones then put together a game-tying touchdown drive and went on to win this home game 35-21.
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