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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Cade Pugh, DB, Harding University

Cade Pugh the play making defensive back from Harding University recently sat down with Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
Cade Pugh the play making defensive back from Harding University recently sat down with Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Cade Pugh
  • Position: DB
  • College: Harding University
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Twitter: @CadePugh06
  • Instagram: @Cpugh6

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

I started playing football at a really young age, and fell in love with the sport from the day I started! It was one of those things that kinda happened and then you never look back.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

The first memory that pops up is from my senior year of high school. It was the first play of the first game of the year and we run a trick pass on offense, and score a 75 yd TD on the very first play from scrimmage my senior year, that is for sure one that I will never forget. Then another one was the moment I got offered by Harding. It’s cool to look back on that moment, and then see who I’ve become both as a man, and as a player from choosing to attend school here.

Which one of your family members inspires you the most and why?

Man this one’s tough. It’s hard for me to say one person, but I would have to go with my brothers. Just seeing who they are, and seeing who they’re becoming as men, has inspired me each day to try and become better. The love that they show, and the way they care about me is so contagious. It’s hard to choose just one of them but they are without a doubt the guys who have inspired me a ton.

What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I come focused, and ready to dominate whatever task is put in front of me. I also come with a love for the game, and a love for playing with the guys around me, which creates a type of energy, and force that’s hard for another team to crack.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

I would have to say Tim Tebow. Just growing up watching him play, and now hearing him speak to the public he would for sure be my pick. I feel like he would have so much valuable information to give both on how to be a better man of God, but also how to become a better ball player as well. So I would have to go with Tebow.

What are your favorite things about playing football for Harding?

There are so many things that come to my head but I would have to say the top three are the guys that are here, the coaches, and the environment. Anywhere you go you will never find another group of guys who will love you, and push you as hard the coaches, and players here do. From that you then get an environment that is full of love, and one that puts God first, which is a type of culture today that is so uncommon. I feel beyond blessed to be where I am today, and I will forever be grateful for the time that I got to spend at Harding. It’s so much bigger than football.

What should we know about Cade Pugh the person?

In each and every aspect of life I will strive to do my best to put God first, he is the most important thing to me. I have a love for my family and the people around me that allows me to live life with a chip on my shoulder, and live free. Everyday I work my hardest to be better than I was the day before, I am never satisfied with being the same. It’s my goal to be the best version of myself that I can be no matter the battles that life is throwing at me, and I am very blessed with the life that I have been given.

What is your favorite coverage and why?

I would have to say man. The reason I say this is because it’s mono versus mono. You’re gonna see who’s better, and each rep of man you get, you get a chance to be better than the last. Just so fun to me to step up and know you’re gonna be challenged, and also know that if I don’t lock this guy up, he’s gonna score. I just like the challenge of it.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

The best thing that I know to do when I am being challenged is just learn to slow down, breath, and put my eyes on God. Whether that be in life, or on the field, he has always been the one that I have tried to turn to. Another thing I like to do is talk to the guys around me. Having someone else there to help weave through things is always so helpful and so insightful for me.

What would a team get in a player like you?

They would get a player who works hard, trys his best to be the best teammate and player that he can be each day, and someone that loves the game. Each day I will show up ready to work, and ready to do whatever it takes to make the team better. I will be someone who is all in.

What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

Honestly, I’m looking forward to it all. From fall camp, to early morning meetings, to time in the cafeteria with the guys, to game day, I am so excited for all of it. The fact that I get the chance to play my last year of college football at Harding makes that experience even better. I cannot wait for the chance to get back out on the field and ball with the guys, and coaches that I love the most.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?

I would have to say our high school running back Devan Walker. To me he’s always been someone who has been so hungry to play, and each training session he’s working his heart out. Just sadly people keep over looking him and he’s never been given a chance. But when someone decides to give him that chance they’ll be so glad they did.

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