Thursday, March 14, 2013
UNLV, others courting NFL WR's son
By Damon Sayles
When you have the bloodlines of defensive back J.R. Reed (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian), everybody expects great things from you. Reed is the son of former Minnesota Vikings standout receiver Jake Reed, who had nearly 7,000 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns for his 12-year career.
Of all the lessons Reed has learned from his father, one has stood out the most: Be the best J.R. possible. That’s one of the reasons why Reed, at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, is lining up in the secondary rather than working at receiver – even though Reed played some receiver during the 2012 season.
“I play both for my school. My primary [position] is DB, though,” Reed said of playing both sides of the ball. “My dad is actually the one that told me I’m better at DB than receiver.”
Because of that, Reed focuses on being a solid defensive back – and he intends on learning both the cornerback and safety spots. He is projected by some as a safety at the next level, but he saw plenty of defensive snaps as a cornerback at Prestonwood.
UNLV was the first to notice Reed’s talent, as the Rebels offered him a scholarship in September. Schools such as Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Georgia Tech, Rice and North Texas have expressed recent interest. Reed also said he’s received a lot of correspondence from the schools in the Big Ten.
“I play a little of both; I play safety, and I play corner,” Reed said. “When they need me, I match up with the best player on the field. I try to be a shutdown, like my uncle.”
That uncle Reed speaks of is Dale Carter, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who spent most of his 14-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Carter was the NFL’s highest-paid defensive back in 1999 when he signed with the Denver Broncos.
“My uncle was a safety in college but played cornerback in the NFL,” Reed said. “I admire the way he plays. I watch his film over and over and try to play like him. I get a lot of advice and different tools and tricks from my dad and my uncle.”
Reed now is looking to turn the advice and the training into something big for the immediate future. He is expected to be a key defensive contributor for Prestonwood and a leader for the program overall. Reed recorded 24 tackles and an interception last season.