Keith Pough Interview
Sr / Howard / LB

Updated - 3-5-13

By: Alex Khvatov

 

Alex Khvatov:  What are your exact measurements (height, weight and forty time)?
Keith Pough:  I'm 6'3, 240lbs and my forty time is a 4.7.

Alex Khvatov:  When you were coming out of high school, what programs showed interest in you?
Keith Pough:  I wasn't highly recruited out of high school, but I had offers from every school in the MEAC conference.  I had walk-on offers from Clemson and LSU.

Alex Khvatov:  Why did you eventually choose Howard?
Keith Pough:  Education is very important in my household and was imbedded in my upbringing being that both of my parents are educators.  My mother, who is very influential in my life, played a major role in me committing to Howard.  Since football wasn't and isn't a guarantee, she stressed the importance of academics.  She stressed having a degree and having a life besides, beyond and after football.  I chose Howard because of its rich tradition and prestige, the legacy and weight a degree holds.

Alex Khvatov:  Describe your career as a Bison.
Keith Pough:  The aphorism "It's hard to be a Bison," has a ring of personal truth to all of Howard's current and past students-athletes.  For those who know, no explanation is needed.  For those who don't, none can be given.  My career at Howard was fun, plain and simple.

Alex Khvatov:  You were named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, how honored were you to receive that award?
Keith Pough:  Indeed I was, and it is a tremendous honor and a blessing to be recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year.  An accolade I couldn't have achieved without the tutelage of my coaches and the efforts of my teammates.

Alex Khvatov:  Where are you training for the NFL Draft?
Keith Pough:  I'm training at Bommarito's Performance Systems in Miami, FL.

Alex Khvatov:  Describe your experience at the 2013 East/West Shrine Game.
Keith Pough:  I had an awesome time at the East/West Shrine game.  It's true to its motto "More Than Just A Game."  I met some great competitors, coaches and scouts that week.  Being named the defensive captain was also a honor, but the most memorable part about the trip was receiving the Pat Tillman Award and the hospital visit on Sunday to start the week.  You're greeted and embraced by the smile of kids and "Can I have your autograph?  Can I take a picture with you?"  I met a 12-year old young lady by the name of Leigh Dittman, who absolutely stole my heart.  She has brittle bone disease, but judging by the smile you wouldn't know that at all.  I stay in contact with her parents just to see how she's doing and progressing after her surgery a couple of weeks ago.

Alex Khvatov:  How would you rate your performance during the week?
Keith Pough:  I believe that I performed at a very high level.  It is a level that many didn't know that I was capable of competing at.  I believe all questions were answered by the time I left.

Alex Khvatov:  What can we expect from you at the Scouting Combine?
Keith Pough:  You can expect me to compete in all facets of the scouting combine from the on the field drills to the interviews.  It's a job interview, perhaps the biggest interview of my life.  It's all about business, and the first law of business is competition.  I will have on my proverbial business suit from the moment that I step foot in the airport and until the time I bid my farewell to Indy. 

Alex Khvatov:  What are your strengths?
Keith Pough:  My strengths are my sickening and obsessive work ethic, discipline, athleticism, tackling, film study and commitment to excellence which allows me to make plays for my team.  It allows me to compete at a level others are unwilling and/or incapable of matching. 

Alex Khvatov:  What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?
Keith Pough:  Areas that I can improve upon are route recognition, pass coverage and utilizing the stack and shed technique.

Alex Khvatov:  What is the highlight of your career up to this point?
Keith Pough:  The highlight of my career is attaining the first winning season at Howard since 1998 during my senior season.  I accomplished many great feats, broke records and earned numerous accolades, but still something was missing.  So that winning season takes precedence over all the awards, accolades and achievements.

Alex Khvatov:  What is your favorite NFL team?
Keith Pough:  The Ravens.

Alex Khvatov:  Who is your favorite NFL player?
Keith Pough:  Lawrence Taylor and Ray Lewis.

Alex Khvatov:  Which underclassman on your team should we keep an eye on in the future?
Keith Pough:  We have a number of underclassmen to keep an eye on, but I like Damien Gresham.  He is a rising sophomore defensive end, with incredible work ethic and a nose for the football.  He tallied 18.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman.  Under the helm of head coach Harrell and defensive coordinator Rayford Petty, I don't see him doing anything, but getting better as he matures and understands the game of football.

Alex Khvatov:  Who is the best player that you have faced during your career?
Keith Pough:  The best player that I've faced during my career was the LT from Rutgers during the 2009 season.

Alex Khvatov:  What do you enjoy the most about being a linebacker?
Keith Pough:  I love the physicality that is synonymous with linebacker, but all of football is physical.  What I enjoy most about being a linebacker is the mental preparation and responsibility that comes along with the title.  You are the quarterback of the defense, you're responsible for making calls, checks and knowing what every position is supposed to do and why.

Alex Khvatov:  Which current NFL player would you compare your game to?
Keith Pough:  I honestly can't compare my game to another player currently playing in the league.  I believe my game is unique because I watch and emulate all the greats like Lawrence Taylor, Ray Lewis and Derrick Brooks.  I study their game and skill set
intensely and try to combine them all into one.

Alex Khvatov:  Do you embrace the role of being a vocal leader?  Is it something that comes naturally to you?
Keith Pough:  Yes, I embrace the role and responsibility of not just a vocal leader, but of one who leads solely because I live my creed.  I try to not only be a man of my word, but also be a man of my work.  It's something that definitely comes natural.  One of my favorite poems is "Live Your Creed."  The first two stanzas read, "I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one any day.  I'd rather one to walk with me than just to show the way.  For the eye is a better pupil and more willing than the ear.  Advice may be misleading but examples are always clear."

Alex Khvatov:  What are your hobbies?
Keith Pough:  I enjoy reading, writing poetry, listening to music, star gazing, spending time with loved ones, and training.

Alex Khvatov:  Do you have a lot to prove coming from a smaller school?
Keith Pough:  Yes, I do have a lot to prove.  I will always have a chip on my shoulder. The most common stigma that comes along with being a small school prospect is what you can't do because of the level of competition you faced.  A lot of critics fail to realize that I don't compete against decals.  I dominate the man.  I don't have any say so on who's on the schedule.  I line up against whoever it may be and dominate.   My best games are against "higher level" competition, so I will always have an innate hunger to prove myself.  They can only deny me for so long.

Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Keith Pough is….
Keith Pough:  Blessed.

 


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