Undersize and underrated. Those are the same notes that were placed on Drew Brees when he was in high school. Brees wasn’t a household name back then, and neither is David Blough’s.
Purdue commit, David Blough, finished 6th in the Elite11.
The two have been compared since Brees sent Blough his Elite11 invite over twitter a few months back. Since then, Blough has been a fighter, working his way to the Elite 11 finals and finished in 6th place among the nation’s best.
“Getting coached by the best in the best facilities, the best environment, and playing with the best,” Blough said. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”
During the event at Nike’s facilities in Oregon, David Blough made his presence felt from day one, bringing energy and competitiveness to the table.
“I thought I brought a real high energy to the table,” Blough said. “My competitive nature getting to go up against those top guys kind of took over. I have always had something to prove and getting to go out there this week and earn a little respect felt good.”
Following the first two days, the first rankings came out and David Blough’s name was at the top. It might have been a little surprising to some but Blough said “it didn’t really surprise me.”
“I thought I would be number 1 or number 2. Just based off the way I was throwing and watching the other guys throw. I knew me and Kyle Allen would be 1 and 2. It didn’t really surprise me because I knew I could do it. I enjoy the task of being the underdog. I’ve kind of always been the hunter. For a couple days I was the hunted and trying to keep the same mindset, it’s a little bit different.“
As the camp progressed, you could tell the toll that was being taken on the players at The Opening and Elite 11. Blough was not immune to it.
“When the first list came out and I was at the top, I felt I was going to keep that up. Our team just had a little trouble, it’s tough when it’s the first time throwing to those (receivers), when quarterbacks are splitting playing time, you don’t get in your own little groove. The first couple days I felt like I was fundamentally sound, mentally tough. I think all of us, it took a toll and we were all kind of dragging on the last couple days.”
Blough's character and intensity were the talk of the Elite11.
Blough didn’t finish in first and it was a little disappointing to him, however, David says he still has “a lot of room for improvement.”
“I looked at is as, “if I wouldn’t have been in first the first day, sixth would have been a huge accomplishment.” Going in I expected first but everybody kind of doubts you. I knew what I could do. It was a little disappointing but the goal was Top 11, it gives me a lot of room for improvement. I know there are a lot of things I need to work on but I knew I need to concentrate on what I could control and that was me throwing the ball, not Sean White dropping dimes all day.”
Like Purdue’s Drew Brees, David Blough is undersized and underrated but during this event, a lot of scouts, media, fans, and even NFL players took notice. They raved about not only the quarterback he could be but also the person his now. I asked Blough about being the “hunted” rather than the “hunter” and people taking notice of him as a quarterback.
“It’s a little different for me. I’m held to the regard of, “this body isn’t a future number one draft pick.” When people were starting to take notice of the mental aspect of it with the running of the team and the playbook, that means more to me than them taking notice of what I was doing on the field. That stuff is character and how I have been raised and how I’m trying to live my life.”
“I went back and watched it and they were talking about focus and drive and encouragement, I’m glad people took notice of that because that is just as important. The quarterback position is more than just throwing it. It felt good that other people were noticing the hard work.”
There was an instance during the event when the TV camera caught Trent Dilfer talking with Blough on the sideline. It’s something you notice if you get the chance to talk with David, his eyes. Blough gives you his complete attention and respect when you speak. His focus and intensity spoke volumes during the event.
“I think there are a couple different switches and phases of it. I can turn it on. I’ve told a couple coaches that I love practice but when game time comes around, there’s another switch that flips on. When (professionals) come up to us and tell what it takes to be successful, I want to take every single thing in. That’s kind of the look I get when focus is at a maximum. My mom’s noticed it. She said that it is a whole different look than when you are sitting at home or out with friends. It’s always been like that. In a competition when I smell blood, I’m going after it like a shark.”
Over the weekend, David was able to talk with Coach John Shoop and tell him about all that had gone on during the week, detailing every hour of every day.
“I talked to Coach Shoop. He said that they were all really proud of me and pumped for the success I had. He said he hadn’t had a chance to watch because he was on vacation with the family but was following it on the internet and said Coach (Darrell) Hazell was real proud with more than just the quarterback part of it but also how I represented the university. He loved how I was wearing the visor the whole time.”
Throughout the week, many people brought up the idea of Blough getting contacted by other schools and if he would possibly look into other schools because of the prominence he had gained at the Elite 11. David Blough wanted to put those thoughts to rest as he is at “home” in West Lafayette.
“There is nothing to worry about. Coach Shoop is the only coach that has contacted me and that is the way I want it to be. Purdue was there before any of the Elite 11 stuff, they were there during some stuff I was struggling with this past spring. It’s home. They have been there for my mom and I. That is where I want to be.”