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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Indianapolis Colts Select Freddie Keiaho in the 3rd Round

Freddie Keiaho may have become the first Fijian to be drafted into the NFL, being selected in the 3rd Round by the Indianapolis Colts. I had the opportunity to watch him play his senior year against the University of Hawai'i and he was more than deserving of his All MWC Selection. He finished the game with 14 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception.















Keiaho finds a taker in Colts

By Staff reports
April 30, 2006

Draft projections were right on the money for Freddie Keiaho.

The Indianapolis Colts made the Buena High graduate their third-round selection Saturday in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Keiaho was the 94th overall pick.

The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Keiaho was listed as one of the top seven inside linebackers in the draft.

According to a report from GM Jr Scouting, Keiaho's speed and aggressiveness made him a marketable

commodity for NFL teams.

Keiaho was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference linebacker, leading San Diego State with 113 tackles, including 11 sacks.

At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in January, Keiaho had a 36-inch vertical leap, 9 foot, 5-inch broad jump and times of 4.12 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and 7.02 in the cone drill. At a pro day in San Diego, Keiaho ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds.

In four years at San Diego State, Keiaho accepted numerous roles. He was a captain of the school's specialty teams. At one stage of his collegiate career, Keiaho was a kick returner.

As a middle linebacker, Keiaho "fills the hole quick and fast, and delivers a hard blow to the lead blocker," summarized a report by GM Jr Scouting. "He can stand the blocker up and clog the hole.

"He may be short, but Keiaho is not small and can make very hard hits because he consistently runs through his tackles. Keiaho has the toughness, athletic ability and playing speed to challenge for a roster spot as a backup linebacker and special teams player."

Keiaho helped Buena win three Channel League titles. He was the 2000 Channel League defensive player of the year and a first-team CIF-Southern Section Division IV selection.

He ranks high on Ventura County season and career rushing lists.

As a senior, Keiaho rushed for 2,157 yards and 29 TDs. For his career, Keiaho gained 4,165 yards with 29 TDs.

A second article on Keiaho from the North County Times

Late-blooming Aztec picked by the Colts

Freddy Keiaho had to wait until his senior season to play a significant role at San Diego State. But in one football season as a starter, the fiery team captain did more than enough to impress one of the NFL's most renowned defensive gurus.

Keiaho's lone stellar campaign had the exclamation point added to it on Saturday when the Indianapolis Colts selected him in the third round of the NFL draft. The middle linebacker was the 94th overall selection by a team that is coached by the well-respected Tony Dungy.

"I'm really happy about being able to play for the Colts," Keiaho said. "It's a great system, and I get to play for a great coach.

"It's the greatest achievement in sports I've had so far. It's a great individual accomplishment."

Keiaho backed up former Aztecs standout Kirk Morrison for three seasons before finally becoming the team's starting middle linebacker as a senior. The 6-foot, 230-pound Keiaho earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference last season and had a league-best 113 tackles despite missing one game. He had 10 or more tackles six times, led by a phenomenal 18-tackle performance against national power Ohio State.

Keiaho was a superb special teams player throughout his Aztecs career, blocking four punts and even serving as the primary kickoff returner one season.

Colts general manager Bill Polian told the Indianapolis media that special teams and Keiaho's aggressive nature were prime factors in why the team selected Keiaho.

The only uncertainty is exactly where to play Keiaho on defense. Dungy said he's unsure whether Keiaho is more suited to play in the middle or on the outside in the NFL.

"He's very, very bright and probably will be labeled as an overachiever," Dungy said. "I think his linebacking ability is still developing and he's going to get better."

Keiaho is the third San Diego State linebacker to be drafted in the past two years. Matt McCoy was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2005 draft and Morrison went to the Oakland Raiders in the third round.

"I think that is a tribute to our linebackers coach, Andy Buh," said Keiaho, referring to the former Orange Glen High and Palomar College standout who was his position coach the past four seasons. "He made us all better players. If Andy Buh wasn't there, you don't see three linebackers go on the first day. I owe everything to that man."

Buh wasn't retained by new coach Chuck Long and is now a graduate assistant at Fresno State.

The first three rounds Saturday passed without the selection of receiver Jeff Webb. The Aztecs' second all-time leading receiver should be chosen sometime today. Defensive back Marcus Demps could be picked near the end of the seven-round draft.

Contact staff writer Mike Sullivan at (760) 739-6645 or msullivan@nctimes.com.

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/04/30/sports/college/0_01_484_30_06.prt

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