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Keith Rivers

Keith Rivers wearing the famed # 55 jersey during his tenure at USC.
No. 55     Cincinnati Bengals
Personal information
Date of birth: May 5, 1986 (1986-05-05) (age 23)
Place of birth: San Bernardino, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Debuted in 2008 for the Cincinnati Bengals
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
  • No notable achievements
Career NFL statistics as of Week 16, 2009
Tackles     96
Sacks     1.0
INTs     2
Forced Fumbles     1
Stats at

Keith Rivers (born May 5, 1986 in Lake Mary, Florida) is an American football linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Bengals ninth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Southern California.


Early life

Rivers was a highly decorated letterman in football at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida. His awards include USA Today All-USA first team, Parade All-American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, EA Sports All-American, All-American, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Top 100 Dream Team, Lemming Top 10, Super Prep All-Dixie, Prep Star All-Southeast, Fox Sports Net All-South, Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and Florida Class 6A Mr. Football runner-up as a senior linebacker.[1] He played in the 2004 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

College career

Rivers was heavily recruited. Then-University of Florida coach Ron Zook, noted for his recruiting ability, made a strong push, including talking to Rivers at 2 a.m. on National Signing Day in 2003. In the end, Rivers selected USC; and, to cinch the pact, the Trojan coaching staff committed to bestowing Rivers, a worthy future player, with the famed USC linebacker jersey # 55 to wear during his Trojan career, which is selectively awarded and has traditionally been given to a promising linebacker with the potential of becoming a USC football and NFL great, and includes past Trojan and NFL star players, all members of the so-called USC linebacker "Club 55", such as Junior Seau, Willie McGinest and Chris Claiborne.[2][3]

USC linebacker coach Ken Norton Jr nicknamed Rivers "the Shark" for his aggressive play on the field, juxtaposed to his polite demeanor off of it.[4]

Rivers was on the watch list for the 2006 Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, Bronco Nagurski Trophy, and Lott Trophy. He was 2006 and coaches first team all-Pac-10. The All-American selection with 78 tackles, Rivers decided to stay for his senior season[5].

Rivers was a 2007 preseason Sporting News, Street & Smith's, Lindy's, Phil Steele's, Blue Ribbon and All-American. At the end of the 2007 regular season, Rivers was selected to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team for the second year in a row by league coaches.[6] He was also selected to the All-American First-team.[7]

He graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy, Management, and Planning.[8]

Professional career


Cincinnati Bengals

Rivers was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the 9th overall pick. Rivers signed a contract with the Bengals on August 5, ending the 10-day holdout, and joined a team with fellow Trojan football alumnus, Carson Palmer.[9]

Keith Rivers began his rookie season with 10 tackles in the 17-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. In the following 24-7 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Rivers totaled 8 tackles. In the overtime loss to the New York Giants, Rivers recorded two tackles. In the 20-12 loss to the Cleveland Browns, dropping the Bengals to 0-4, Rivers defense production totaled 8 tackles. Rivers' rookie season was abruptly ended due to a broken jaw after a violent blind-side helmet-to-helmet hit by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward in Week 7. Despite missing the final nine games, Rivers finished his rookie season with 37 tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble. Rivers finished second to Jerod Mayo in the Defensive Rookie of the Year balloting.[10]


  1. ^ USC Trojans, Keith Rivers, USC Player Bio, November 14, 2007.
  2. ^ Chris Harry, Rivers lives up to No. 55, Orlando Sentinel, February 25, 2008.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mark Saxon, USC's Shark attack, The Orange County Register, August 24, 2007.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Pac-10 Football Awards and All-Conference Team Announced, Pacific 10 Conference, December 3, 2007.
  7. ^'s All-Americas,, December 11, 2007.
  8. ^ James Walker, Rookie Rivers should fill immediate Bengals' needs,, May 31, 2008, Accessed June 4, 2008.
  9. ^ Bengals ink Rivers
  10. ^ Patriots' Mayo wins Defensive Rookie of Year award

External links


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