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One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Position draft previews: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers This is all I need to know about Southern California's Keith Rivers : He wore No. 55 for the Trojans. Check, please. I'm sold on the guy. Because 55 ...

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Old 04-05-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

Position draft previews: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers


This is all I need to know about Southern California's Keith Rivers: He wore No. 55 for the Trojans.
Check, please. I'm sold on the guy. Because 55 is the number once worn at USC by Willie McGinest, Junior Seau and Chris Claiborne, and it's a jersey the school's football team doesn't exactly hand out randomly.

"Great linebackers have worn it and made it proud," Rivers said. "It's kind of a club of guys." Better add Rivers to the list. He not only was one of the top defenders in the nation last season; he was the best linebacker anywhere, named to All-American and All-Pac-10 first teams despite being handicapped by a sore ankle.
Rivers is quick. He's fast. He's a reliable tackler. He's instinctive. He's outstanding in pass coverage. He works hard. He hits hard. And he's versatile, playing all three linebacker positions at the Senior Bowl practices.
More important, he lived up to his number.
"When I got it," said Rivers, "they sent out (a notice) to all the other 55s and let them know a new person was going to be wearing it because it hadn't been worn in years. I was honored to have it and tried my best to live up to it."
Though born in California, Rivers grew up in Orlando, Fla., so let's be honest here: He didn't know a lot about USC's 55s or the linebackers who wore the jersey. What he did know was that he was going somewhere with a rich tradition of great defensive players, some of whom were linebackers ... and, yes, some of whom drove 55.
"After awhile," he said, "you get a sense of how important it is and how important it is to practice hard every day and work hard in the weight room because the number means so much. It's bigger than you."
Few at USC were bigger than Rivers during his stay there. He had 240 career tackles, including 18.5 for losses. He was a dominant figure as the team's weakside linebacker -- chosen in 2007 as a Butkus semifinalist and one of 17 quarterfinalists for the Lott Trophy.

Granted, his numbers were down from his junior season, but Rivers underwent preseason surgery to remove bone chips in his left ankle, an injury that caused him to miss a game and that became a topic of conversation with more than one team at the annual NFL scouting combine.
Rivers called the injury "a freak thing," adding that it wasn't "that big of a deal," but if a club is going to invest a top 15 draft choice in the guy -- and someone will -- it wants to make sure it's not taking a risk.
Trust me, it's not. At USC's Pro Day this week, Rivers had a 42-inch vertical jump, 5½ inches higher than the next-best outside linebacker at the combine, and a 10-foot-7 long jump. He also ran 4.51 in the 40, tying Wesley Woodyard's time in February for first place.
But Rivers is as impressive to meet as he is to watch, and that might have had something to do with him being a team captain. It might have had something to do with wearing that most famous of USC jerseys, too.
"There's a (responsibility that goes with it)," said Rivers, "on and off the field -- to be a leader, to make plays and to dominate."
Sounds like a job description for the first linebacker in the draft. Keith Rivers, come on down.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

Fugita is not going to give his number up, though.
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

With a guy like this on the board at makes you wonder why anyone would pick a CB that isn't the best in the draft nor deserves to be in the top 20.
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

Draft this man now.....Morgan is a bandaid, Rivers and Vilma could prove to be something special on our Def for years to come.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

well on other teams, fujita was 52, faine had that number so he could sell it to him
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

We aren't not going to draft him because of his numer...
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:49 PM   #7
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

Rivers, Vilma, Fujita

Sounds miiiiiighty good to me.

A good LB core is a good foundation : D

I went from morbid, to excited about our defense.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:44 PM   #8
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

I hope we draft RIVERS because we think he's going to be a GREAT LB !!!!!
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:01 AM   #9
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

Draft this guy and things could drastically improve on defense. The free agents and trades were good, drafting Rivers could really solidify the entire deal. Having Rivers and a still young Vilma could really help right the ship.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:06 AM   #10
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Re: One number tells story for top prospect Rivers

i have been hearing for several weeks that we were gonna draft this guy and i have been shaking my head b/c i keep hearing that he is an idiot and not very bright......i gotta say though, i just heard him interview in a couple different clips and the guy interviews great! not a big head, talks professionally, seems willing to learn and now hearing about the whole #55 thing at USC kinda fires me up! i am excited about him....hope we pull the trigger! believe it or not boys we may have a couple LB's with nfl talent again!
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