Robert Hough

Robert Hough is the mirror image of older brother and former Reb DE Charlie Anderson, who is now making a living in the NFL with the Houston Texans. Like Charlie, Robert has had trouble in his Reb career with putting on weight, but has played significantly for someone "too small" for his position. Rerad about it inside.

Robert Hough still looks thin after three years in the Rebel weight program, but he's gained nearly 20 pounds since he joined the Rebs in 2003.

Like older brother Charlie Anderson, who took four years to get to his final weight of 246 pounds during his collegiate career, Robert eats "like a horse" but burns everything off with a racing metabolism.

And like Charlie, he hasn't let the fact that he's a 220-pounder in a 240-pound plus position - tight end - get to him.

"I have to make up for my lack of bulk every day by going a little harder, throwing my body in the action regardless of the situation, being a little more aggressive than the next guy and not thinking about it," said Hough. "Sure, I'd be better at 240 or 245 pounds, and I'm working and eating hard to get there, but it just hasn't happened for me yet.

"I can't let it bother me or my career would be over and I'd still be sitting here dwelling on it. I'm hoping I'll be like Charlie and sooner or later my metabolism will slow down and I'll be able to add the weight I want. I eat four times a day and take all kinds of supplements, but then I'll lose just about everything I've gained in a workout. I was at 225 when spring rolled around - now I'm back down to 221. My goal is to be at 235 when August cranks up, but knowing my history I don't know if that is realistic or not."

Despite that roadblock, Hough has been in the tight end rotation for the Rebels the past two years and remains there now.

"I'm in the top three with Robert Lane and Lawrence Lilly, but where I don't know," he smiled. "The depth chart changed some in spring, but I know three tight ends will be used in Coach (Dan) Werner's system and I plan on being one of them."

In the past, the Rebs have used Jimmy Brooks, now graduated, and Lilly in the running game and Robert more on passing downs, but he expects to be involved in everything in 2006.

"My goal is to be a more balanced tight end, one that the coaches feel comfortable putting me in there on running plays and pass plays," he explains. "My biggest asset is my speed and the ability to run by linebackers trying to cover me, but I want to prove I can do it all from the tight end position."

New TE Coach Hugh Freeze believes Robert can get that done, but he has to keep working at the physical side of blocking and playing tight end.

"Robert gets after people. He makes up for his lack of size, somewhat, with his tenacity," said Freeze. "He made good progress in spring in those areas and has always been a good receiver at TE for us.

"In short-yardage situations, Robert gvies up some bulk, but he's willing to stick his nose in there. He has to rely on great technique to get the job done against 270-pound defensive ends, but he's getting better at it."

Robert said he had a "pretty good" spring in 2006, but his goal is to carry that over to the season.

"I had a good spring in 2005, but I didn't keep progressing in the offseason and carry it over into the season as well as I should have," he assessed. "I want to make sure that doesn't happen again. I want to make sure I finish what I started this year. I didn't last year and don't want that to happen again."

Robet has an ally in Freeze, who believes in his ability.

"Coach Freeze is a good coach. He's there for you when you need him. I like him," said Hough. "He is stern and will discipline you if you need it, but he's fair. That's all you can ask of a coach. He knows I can help this team and that makes me try even harder."

Robert is also excited about the fact Werner likes to use the tight ends in the passing game.

"It motivates you when the coach calling the plays can, and will, come to your position any time. It keeps you on your toes," he explained. "I like the new offense. I struggled with come of the concepts early in spring, and I have some studying to do this summer, but what I have down pat, I like a lot.

"I feel like I fit in with this system, but it's up to me to become more balanced," he said.

To do that, he's not only working on his weight, he's working hard on his strength.

"In the offseason, my bench went up 20 pounds, my squat went up 35 pounds and my clean was over 300 pounds. I could tell the difference in spring. I felt stronger and more effective blocking," Hough closed.

Robert Hough has earned a role on the Rebel football team. It will be up to him to expand the role.

What will he be doing the next three months preparing for August practice?

"Eating - a lot," he smiled, "and lifting a lot of weights."

A lot of laymen would do just about anything to have Hough's metabolism "problem."

Robert would do just about anything to get his to slow down.

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