Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Coach's take: Reggie Chevis
By Sam Khan Jr.
"Coach's take" is a series that allows GigEmNation to offer readers a closer look at the incoming recruits in Texas A&M's 2013 class by visiting with someone who coached the player or coached against him. Today, we take a look at four-star inside linebacker Reggie Chevis by visiting with his Houston Sharpstown coach, Dallas Blacklock.
Linebacker Reggie Chevis could play early for the Aggies in 2013.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Chevis is ranked the 19th linebacker in the nation and was a Semper Fidelis All-American. He committed to the Aggies on June 12, 2012, and graduated from Sharpstown in December in order to enroll in classes at Texas A&M in January.
Chevis will be one of eight signees from the 2013 class who will participate in spring football starting March 2. Here's Blacklock's take on Chevis:
GigEmNation: What was your first impression of Chevis?
Dallas Blacklock: "My first impression was 'This guy is huge.' When Reggie first came to us, his brother was already at Sharpstown and I thought Reggie was an incoming ninth-grader because he was at the school during two-a-days and things like that. I told him one day, 'Hey, you need to get in here and get dressed.' And he was like 'For what?' And I said 'For what? We've got practice. Get in and get dressed.' And he said 'I don't go to school here.' I said 'What do you mean you don't go to school here? What school do you go to?' He said 'I go to Sharpstown Middle.' Come to find out after we go through this long ordeal outside the locker room, I find out he's only about to start the eighth grade. I was like 'Oh my God, this kid is huge.' So of course, the next year he came and he was on varsity as a freshman.
GEN: What are his biggest strengths?
DB: "Reggie's biggest strengths are his strength and his athleticism. He's incredibly strong, and I mean naturally strong. To be his size, he's freaking fast. He probably played his entire senior year close to 245 or 250. And a lot of people don't know that Reggie ran the 100-meter dash. He always came in second or third, somewhere near the top. He's a tremendous athlete to be his size. You don't see very many kids like him come around too often."
GEN: What are his areas that need work as he transitions to the college level?
DB: "One of the things Reggie needs to work on, I believe, is just becoming more astute to the game. I think playing his first couple of years [at Sharpstown] on the defensive line ... he probably learned more football in the last two years [playing linebacker] than he did in his entire life. Being under Coach [Mark] Snyder and playing linebacker in college will allow him to learn the game a little bit more so he can use his instinctive-ness, which I think will make him a great player."
GEN: I know Reggie worked feverishly in order to graduate early and join Texas A&M in January. What does that say about him?
DB: "It just tells me that he's a kid that listens. That's one thing I love about Reggie. I told him that I had a plan for him when I got there and he trusted that plan wholeheartedly. Everything I asked him to do, he did it. If I said 'Reggie, get in there and work out,' he would say 'OK, coach.' If I called Reggie and said 'You need to go run,' he'd say 'OK, coach.' It didn't matter what I told him to do, he did it. I talked to him about graduating early and he said, 'Coach, just tell me what I need to do.' He went in there and took extra classes and it just really showed his determination and hunger for wanting to be great. That's how I took it. I said, 'This kid really wants it.' You can't find this every day. That's why I know A&M is getting a great player. It's not about him being 6-2, it's not about him being 245, it's not about him running a 4.6. I think it's just the hunger that's in him, which is second to none. That's the stuff that makes great players."
GEN: How do you see him fitting into Texas A&M's defense?
DB: "What I told Reggie was this: 'You play wherever they want you to play. Just get on the field. I don't care if it's defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, just play, son.' He understands that. I guess to answer your question, I think Reggie will play in multiple positions. I think he might play at times at Mike; at times I think they'll put his hand in his dirt. That's what I think they'll do. I think Reggie can play Mike every down, but that's just me. I think if they tell Reggie, 'We have to put you down [at defensive line] because you can't run,' he'll just try to prove them wrong. If they say, 'Reggie, you need to lose 10 pounds before the season starts,' he'll lose those 10 pounds. That's how bad he wants to play linebacker. But I understand football and you're going to play a kid where you can win. Especially in the SEC when you're trying to win football games."
GEN: What is he like off the field?
DB: "I haven't met a kid with as much charisma and just natural-born leadership than Reg. He's just so charismatic that people just flock to him. Friends, classmates, teammates, coaches, the media just loves him. One media guy was waiting on him for an interview on national signing day because they know he always has great sound bites."
GEN: What will be your lasting memory of him as a player?
DB: "There was one day we had a game where we were playing Booker T. [Washington] in the playoffs and my quarterback had busted his hand open and we were pretty much down. We couldn't throw the ball, we couldn't run the ball and I just kind of got down. We turned the ball over and Reg comes up behind me and slapped me on my thigh and said, 'Don't worry about it coach. I'm going to get the ball back.' The next play, Reggie catches an interception and runs it back for a touchdown and we end up winning the game. So that type of stuff, you can't really put that into a stat column."