Robert Hough update -

A lot of buzz surrounded the tight end position with OL David Traxler being moved there for spring training to give the position more bulk and blocking "umph," but through the course of spring an "old reliable" - senior Robert Hough has emerged as well. Read about it inside.

Robert Hough has always been considered too small - if 6-4, 230 is small - to play tight end in the Southeastern Conference.

But when all the dust settles, year-in and year-out, there he is in the tight end rotation and there he is producing. Not big numbers, mind you, but important contributions to the team, catching a pass here and there, making a key block or doing something significant on special teams.

This spring, however, Robert has been mentioned more and more by Coach Ed Orgeron after each practice session.

"I gained a little weight this spring and I'm trying to maintain it. I'm around 230 now and I feel more physical and more effective," he said. "I'm going to try to gain 10 or 15 more pounds in the offseason and come in here around 240 when August begins."

Robert's brother, former Reb and current Houston Texan Charlie Anderson, went through the same hard-to-gain-weight process as Hough. Anderson went most of his career at 230-235 pounds until his senior campaign, when his metabolism finally slowed a little and he was able to play DE for the Rebs at roughly 250 pounds.

"I know what Charlie went through trying to gain weight and it's been the same for me, but hopefully I'll do like he did and be able to hold it my senior year," Robert smiled. "We have the same genes, so I am counting on it working out for me too."

In the meantime, he has adjusted to his extra 10 pounds and says he is running as fast or faster than ever.

"I stretch a lot to try to stay flexible and that's helped my speed with the extra weight. I'm also stronger. I went from 320 in the bench to 365 this offseason and I can feel it. The weight I put on was good weight, lean muscle," he explained.

The second year in Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner's system has also come easier for Robert.

"I know a lot more than I did last year. I feel I have a good grasp of what we are trying to do and what we are trying to accomplish," Robert added.

Hough has always been known as the tight end who could stretch the field and could catch the ball on the intermediate to deep routes, but he's trying to make a name for himself as blocker as well.

"I'm doing a lot better on my blocking," said Robert, who has always been a player who liked to mix it up but didn't have enough lead in his britches to be dominant. "I can tell the difference with the extra weight. I pack more punch. I feel I have improved all around, but I know I have more to do."

This spring, the quarterback position is up for grabs, but Hough said the tight ends and receivers can't let that hinder their performance.

"We can't worry about who is under center," he noted. "We have to do our jobs and try to adjust to whichever one is throwing the ball. It's our job to learn them as much as it is their job to learn what we do best. You control what you can control and not make any excuses. Each quarterback has gotten enough reps that the receivers have learned a lot about all of them."

Fellow senior TE Robert Lane was injured last week and has been missing some time lately. Hough, Lane and Traxler were all rotating with the first and second teams along with Cecil Frison.

"We are all getting plenty of reps to learn what we are supposed to do so tight end will be a srong position. There's enough playing time for all of us with the different sets we run and the way Coach Werner uses the tight ends," he continued.

Robert said the goal for the offense this spring, in his mind, is to continue to get better in all areas, individually and as a unit.

"It all starts up front with the offensive line and tight ends. If we do well, we think everyone will do well," he closed. "In spring so far, we've had some good days and days that weren't as productive, but I think we are making progress.

"We know our running game is going to be pretty good and the OL and receivers are working hard to make the passing game better. We're going to get there."

And Hough, like he has been for the last three years, only better equipped this time around, is expected to be in the middle of the fray.

OM Spirit Top Stories