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  1. #1
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    Huff has the stuff all D-lines crave

    Huff has the stuff all D-lines crave
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Apr. 13 2006

    In recent seasons, the safety position has undergone a renaissance of sorts in
    the NFL. Michael Huff of the University of Texas hopes to be the next in line.

    "I think it's kind of a new breed of safety with myself, Troy Polamalu
    (Pittsburgh), and Ed Reed (Baltimore)," Huff said. "Safeties have to do more
    than just stay in the middle of the field and hit; now they have to cover and
    blitz and do it all, and that's what I like to do."

    Reed and Polamalu are both Pro Bowlers; Reed is a former NFL defensive player
    of the year. It remains to be seen whether Huff will have that kind of impact
    on the pro game, but he certainly has put together the kind of college resume
    that foreshadows big things in the NFL.

    While Texas quarterback Vince Young was generating most of the wows on offense,
    it was Huff who earned defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl for his work in the
    national championship game victory over USC. (Huff recovered an errant lateral
    by Trojans running back Reggie Bush.)

    In the long and glorious history of Longhorns football, Huff is the school's
    first player to win the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's top
    defensive back.

    "I love making plays," Huff said. "Whether it's hitting somebody across the
    middle, getting a 'pick' and going back scoring, or blocking a kick. Whatever
    it takes to help a team, that's what I'll do."

    Fittingly, Huff did a little bit of everything over the course of his college
    career. Where to begin? He rang up 25 tackles for losses, two sacks, six forced
    fumbles and 43 pass breakups. He had seven interceptions, four of which he
    returned for touchdowns.

    "I love getting into the end zone," Huff said. "That's probably my offensive
    mind-set. I played receiver in high school, and love getting the ball in my
    hands and scoring."

    When it comes to run support, Huff isn't what you would call a dominant player
    in the box, but he's an impressive open- field tackler who combines speed with
    instincts and intelligence. A regional qualifier in the 100 meters for the
    Texas track team, Huff made all the secondary calls for the Longhorns the past
    two seasons.

    But there is some question whether Huff will play safety or cornerback in the
    NFL. Bigger corners are in vogue in the NFL. Huff's size (6-0, 204) and speed
    (4.34 seconds in the 40) could make him an attractive option at cornerback for
    teams, including the Rams, who have the No. 11 overall pick.

    In college, Huff made almost all of his starts at strong safety, though he did
    start three games at cornerback as a freshman. But even at safety, Huff had
    wide-ranging duties for the Longhorns.

    "I was deep free safety, or I was strong safety in the box, or covering the
    slot, or outside covering," Huff said. "I was all over the place."

    In fact, some of Huff's best moments for the Longhorns came covering elite wide
    receivers, such as Oklahoma's Mark Clayton as a junior and Ohio State's Ted
    Ginn Jr. last season.

    So how did Huff fare against Clayton, now with the Ravens?

    "I held him to three for 19, so I guess I had a pretty good day," Huff said.

    Holding Clayton to three catches for 19 yards is an impressive day's work for
    any defensive back. Almost as impressive is the fact that Huff could rattle off
    the numbers from that game almost a year and a half later.

    "When you cover the best, you want to keep the stats to know how you did
    against them," Huff explained.

    Then again, Huff went up against the best every day in practice, whether it was
    trying to cover wide receiver Roy Williams, now with the Lions, or chasing
    Young around all afternoon.

    "Every day was intense," Huff said. "It just made me a better person on and off
    the field."

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  2. #2
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
    UtterBlitz is offline Registered User
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    Re: Huff has the stuff all D-lines crave

    In fact, some of Huff's best moments for the Longhorns came covering elite wide receivers, such as Oklahoma's Mark Clayton as a junior and Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. last season.

    So how did Huff fare against Clayton, now with the Ravens?

    "I held him to three for 19, so I guess I had a pretty good day," Huff said.

    Holding Clayton to three catches for 19 yards is an impressive day's work for any defensive back. Almost as impressive is the fact that Huff could rattle off the numbers from that game almost a year and a half later.
    I would think that he will do well in the NFL if he played well against elite WRs in college. He also appears to have a good memory which, I think, would be an very important quality for a safety or a corner.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Huff has the stuff all D-lines crave

    He had seven interceptions, four of which he
    returned for touchdowns.
    Amazing. This guy is without a doubt the full package. We have to find a way to get him.

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