Catching up with Keith Rivers

Keith Rivers became one of four Trojans selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft when the Cincinnati Bengals made him the ninth pick. SCPlaybook's Kevin Carden recently caught up with the former USC linebacker to talk about the NFL Draft, his career at USC and much more.

Q: How did you spend draft day and how exciting was it for you and your family when you were selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the ninth pick?

A: I was in Florida watching the draft with friends and family. It was a great time and luckily, I came off the board early so it was a great deal.

Q: Before the draft did you have any idea that Cincinnati was planning on selecting you with the ninth pick?

A: No, I thought they were going in another direction and after the trades happened, I didn't know where I would go because I figured if I didn't go top ten I would slide until later in the round.

Q: How was your first mini-camp?

A: It was great. It was a good experience and the first opportunity to come in and work and show what kind of effort and mentality that I bring as a player.

Keith Rivers was drafted 9th by the Bengals
Q: What was your first impression of Marvin Lewis and the Bengals coaching staff?

A: They are great. I really enjoyed them and it was fun. It is definitely different going from college to the professional level, but it has been great, and I have enjoyed it so I am looking forward to getting back there for OTA's.

Q: How do you see yourself fitting into the Bengals defensive scheme?

A: I'm just there and willing and able to do whatever they need me to do.

Q: What are your goals for your rookie season?

A: To be honest with you I just want to come in, contribute, and compete as best as possible and just do whatever the team needs me to do to help us get back to the playoffs this year.

Q: How exciting was it for you to see ten of your USC teammates get drafted?

A: Oh man, it was great. First the ball got rolling with Sed (Ellis), which was great.Then me and Sam (Baker), I was real happy for him, and then Lawrence Jackson, so it was great.

Q: What will you miss most about USC?

A: This is a special place, I love it here, it has definitely been a great experience, and I will definitely miss it.

Q: Have you had a chance to sit back and think about all the great things that you have accomplished here at USC?

A: Yeah, I am excited but sad to go and if I had another year I would definitely stay. I'm proud of all the guys that have left and it's definitely a different experience going to the NFL because it is a job, but it's also fun and you get paid a king's ransom, but it's also great to be a Trojan.

Rivers had 78 tackles for the Trojans in 2007.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at Top Stories