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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A big future in store for DE Justus Reed

By Corey Dowlar

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Justus Reed (Clearwater, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic) had himself quite a run in early May.

In the span of about 10 days, the defensive end prospect landed offers from Ohio State, Florida State, NC State, Cincinnati, Iowa State and Michigan State.

"It just came out of nowhere," Reed said. "I was real excited. I knew it was going to come around eventually, but I haven't even played a game here yet. I just transferred over and all this stuff has started to happen. It's caught me off guard."

Formerly at Clearwater High School, Reed and his family made the decision to change schools over the past school year. He's still getting acquainted with life as a Marauder instead of being a Tornado.

But so far, so good.

"I am finally starting to settle in,” he said “I really like it here, it is a good environment. I think I made a good decision coming here. I am pretty excited about that."

Early on, and without putting a large amount of effort into the recruiting process, Reed has a couple of schools attracting his attention. He also knows he isn't done getting offers yet.

Justus Reed
Defensive end Justus Reed holds offers from programs in the Big Ten, Big East, Big 12 and ACC.
"I would say a few schools that I am really interested in are Ohio State, Florida State, North Carolina, Michigan State -- those are the main ones," he said. "There are some other schools coming around. Clemson came by today and I'm pretty sure they'll offer eventually."

Florida State has wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey leading Reed’s recruitment. Both have been busy, Dawsey out on the road and Reed dealing with academics, so they haven't been able to talk as much as either would like.

That will come down the road, Reed thinks.

"He's a really nice guy," the 6-foot-3 defensive end said. "I haven't talked to him that much. I have been kind of busy with exams and stuff going on right now. I have talked to him a little bit, and from the few conversations that we've had, I think he is a really good coach and I think it will be a good relationship there."

There are a lot of things to like about the long and rangy Reed.

He's grounded, smart and understands of what's around him. Head coach John Davis thinks a lot of that has to do with Reed's parents -- especially his father, who played college football at North Carolina.

"He has his head on his shoulders," Davis said. "He's a quiet kid. He's not out there on the Internet bragging about all the offers and that kind of thing. That comes from mom and dad. The dad has been a player before, so he will know what it is like."

According to Reed, Florida State coaches feel the same.

"They think I am a good kid," Reed said. "They think I am a good football player and good at what I do. They think I'll be a good fit in their program and that they'll be able to develop me well and I can do big things there."

Reed will take some visits this summer, including FSU, and most likely with his family. Because his dad has seen it and lived it all before, he'll be leaning on him heavily for advice and guidance.

"Wherever I feel comfortable," Reed said. "Whatever feels like the best place for me to be. Coaching staff is going to be important. Obviously my dad, he is going to be a big part of my decision.

"He's been through it all and knows what it takes to get to the next level and what you need to do when you get there. It's a reliable resource, and I'm grateful for that."

Whichever school lands could be the more grateful party, according to Davis who compared him to former Central Catholic players Riley Cooper and Colin McCarthy who play in the NFL.

"It's hard to say," Davis said. "We've got three guys from here playing in the NFL from here. I'm not going to say he's going straight to the NFL, but I think potential-wise with his frame, if things work out, he certainly has the tools to get there someday."