Keith Pough: Video Highlights for Former Howard LB
Photo Courtesy of End Zone Report
Once upon a time, Keith Pough was a 5'8" wide receiver at Scotts Branch High School in South Carolina.
That was a long time ago, however, and now Pough is a 6'2", 239-pound linebacker who leaves Howard University as the all-time FCS leader in tackles for loss.
Now Pough is attempting to make the leap from small-school stud to NFL star. Here are some of the talents that should appeal to National Football League teams once the 2013 draft gets underway.
Keith Pough didn't run especially well at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, clocking in at 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash, according to NFL.com.
However, there's 40-yard dash fast, and then there's football fast.
Pough shows in this highlight that he's the latter, coming across the formation and then chasing the quarterback nearly the entire width of the field before hauling him down for a sack.
The read-option offense is all the rage in today's NFL, and as the San Francisco 49ers demonstrated last year, there's good reason for that.
The read-option can leave opposing defenses scratching their heads, especially if defenders aren't disciplined and bite on the fake to the running back.
On this play, however, the only thing that Pough bites on is the quarterback.
Pough doesn't go for the fake, and when the quarterback pulls the ball back and drops to pass, Pough drops him instead.
We've shown in the first two highlights from this article that Keith Pough has a knack for bringing players down behind the line of scrimmage.
However, sometimes a linebacker finds himself "on an island" in the open field, the last line of defense before an opposing ball-carrier rips off a long gain.
That's the situation that Pough found himself in in this clip. The FCS All-American responds well, doing a solid job of not going for the hip fake and then wrapping up the running back.
Playing Through the Pain
It can be somewhat hard to gauge the NFL potential of FCS stars, as no matter how good they look on tape, the fact is they look good against a lower level of competition.
However, Keith Pough got a chance to show what he can do against a BCS conference team when Howard faced Rutgers in 2012.
Not only did Pough rack up 11 stops in the game, but he also showed his toughness. After being shaken up early in the game, Pough returned and chased down running back Jawan Jamison for a loss.
Fighting Through Blocks
If there's a knock on Keith Pough, it's that's he isn't exceptionally strong, with NFL.com stating in their scouting report on the youngster that Pough "must prove he possesses the strength at the point of attack to take on NFL linemen if he expects to win one-on-one battles."
In this highlight from a 2012 matchup with Norfolk State, however, Pough does just that.
First Pough sniffs out the screen play, and then Pough fends off the block of the offensive lineman before hauling down the running back for one of his patented tackles for loss.