Shrine Game 2013: Keith Pough, others from small schools shine

Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE

Many of the best players from this week's Shrine Game practice come from small schools most fans have never seen play.

The 2013 Shrine Game has become a showcase for small school players this year. Guys from Howard, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mount Union lead CBS's list of player whose stock rose after a week of practice in St. Petersburg, FL.

Topping the list of "risers" is Keith Pough, a linebacker from Howard. If CBS's report from practice is any indication, NFL teams will be dying to get their hands on him at the draft.

1. OLB Keith Pough, Howard (6016, 241 -- West Team)
With his performance on the practice field this week and through talking to NFL scouts, putting Pough at No. 1 was the easiest decision on this list. He showed off his natural athleticism and coordination during drills, and while he has room to get stronger, his aggressive and violent playing style was impressive. Pough's physical attributes stand out, but so does his approach to the game. He brings a non-stop motor and competitive attitude to the defense, regardless if it's practice or a game. Although he's still a tad rough around the edges, Pough is a player on the rise and it wouldn't be a shock if he ends up as one of the first players drafted from this year's Shrine Game.

When it comes to post-season bowl games like this, practice means a lot more than the game. Scouts can watch guys go one-on-one for a week instead of just a glorified scrimmage. A bunch of scouts don't even stick around for the game and just watch practice so Pough has already done the hard work.

Terron Armstead is another guy who has shone in practice, representing Arkansas-Pine Bluff well. The highest ranked player from a team you watched this season is Brandon McGee, the corner back from Miami and he is down at No. 5. Well done to the guys from the little schools.

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