Friday, June 14, 2013
In-state defensive end earns Florida offer
By Jeff Barlis
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- While bigger-name prospects come and go on unofficial visits to Florida's summer camp, 2014 defensive end Justus Reed (Clearwater, Fla./Central Catholic) stood out on Thursday by actually participating.
Reed showed up for the afternoon session, warmed up with a couple hundred other campers and did position drills under the watchful eyes of Florida head coach Will Muschamp and defensive line coach Brad Lawing.
"They appreciated that I came down and worked out," Reed said, "because a lot of kids, they don't want to come and compete. They just want to get offered. Being that I came, and I worked hard, they offered me a scholarship."
After visiting Florida on Thursday, Clearwater, Fla., DE Justus Reed claims more than 23 offers.
Before the session was over, Reed went with the coaches up to their offices and emerged with a big smile.
"I got a lot of attention from the coaches, and they coached me up pretty good," he said of the camp. "I talked to Coach Muschamp and all the coaches, and it was a good experience. I really liked it. Coach Lawing knows what he's talking about. He's a really good dude. I really liked him."
The 6-foot-3, 216-pound defensive end said the Gators coaches told him they liked his hands, feet and pass-rushing ability.
"They want me to start off as a buck linebacker," he said. "Then possibly, depending on how much weight I put on, I'd be a defensive end all the time.
"I was real happy; [Florida] has been my school since I was like in sixth grade, so I'm really excited, really happy about it, and it's definitely one of my top schools."
While Reed said he was "leaning towards" naming Florida his leader among a group of top schools like Florida State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky, he still has a busy summer planned.
He'll travel north to Duke and North Carolina on Saturday, continue up to Virginia on Sunday or Monday and visit FSU and Miami in July.
As for Florida, Reed said he is considering a return visit for Friday Night Lights in late July, where he once again would have a chance to compete with hundreds of campers, this time inside the Swamp.
"I definitely want to come back," he said. "The program speaks for itself. I'm pretty happy with what I saw and what I see all the time when I come up here. I like it a lot."
Reed said with so many more unofficial visits to go he does not have a timeframe for a decision.
"Whenever I figure out where I'm more comfortable and what school I like ... it's where I feel comfortable and where I like the coach at," he said. "It's not really a day or a time that I'm going to make my decision, but whenever the time is right, basically."