New Arkansas wide receiver Dominique Reed knows there are a lot of Razorback fans expecting him to have a have a big impact on the team’s passing game this season.
Such is the case when you are a 6-4, 180-pound wideout with 4.3 speed that caught 61 passes for 1,157 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for Coffeyville, Kan., Community College.
The Red Ravens’ all-time career leader for catches, yards and touchdowns not only was a threat going long, but also had an amazing ability to come up with the football when it was under-thrown.
“I think I can be the deep threat,” Reed said. “When the ball is in the air, I am going to go get it. I just picture myself all the time as both the offensive guy and the defender. That ball is mine.”
Razorback wide receiver coach Michael Smith is thrilled he has the chance to work with Reed.
“His upside is definitely tremendous,” Smith said. “When you get a guy that runs that well, that does catch the ball as well as he does, it is always a positive.
“Now we have to do a great job of getting him smooth with what we are doing. We can’t rush the process. The great thing about Dominique is that he loves to play football so he is a football junkie.
“So by him doing that, it makes my job easier. Right now he has shown flashes at practice that he is going to be special. Like I said, it is my job and ours as coaches to continue to development him so he can become the player that he can be."
Arkansas senior wide receiver and team leader Keon Hatcher has taken Reed, a Camden native, under his wings.
“Keon has been a very good leader,” Reed said. “We have sit down and had a lot of talks and he helps me on stuff that I mess up on…We all just try to make each other better every day.”
?Asked if he was he fastest player on the team, Reed at first downplayed it.
But he finally admitted that he and fellow wideout Eric Hawkins had raced in the 40-yard dash and Reed edged Hawkins at the finish line.
“I barely beat him so he is pretty fast,” Reed said. “So probably nobody is faster than me.”
He knows it is more than about speed on this level.
“Right now I am still learning because it is totally different from junior college,” Reed said. “I have to sit down and learn the plays play-by-play and not expect to just get by on my talent.
“It’s going pretty good, about like I expected…I am just going to come in and do what I got to do.”
Reed’s addition gives Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen a couple of deep threats along with redshirt freshman JoJo Robinson.
“I have been telling BA sometimes ‘just throw the ball.’ He is a pretty good quarterback for me.
“…Brandon is a great quarterback. He throws the ball really well, he zips it and it is pretty sharp. He is going to be a really good quarterback.”
Allen noted that former Coffeyville quarterback and Arkansas tight end A.J. Derby told him that he had never been able to over throw a pass to Reed when the two played together in 2012.
“No, not that I know,” Reed said while laughing. “…Like I said, ‘just throw the ball’ and I am going to go get it…When the ball is in the air, you just have to attack it. There are going to be good throws, some bad throws and you just have to go get it.”
Reed readily admits that he has grown up since his freshman year at Coffeyville.
He had 47 catches for 818 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012, but was kicked off the team that spring and sit out a year before returning for a banner 2014 campaign.
“I think I matured a lot while I was at junior college,” Reed said. “…I got kicked off the team because I had some bad mistakes.
“When I went home after getting kicked off the team, I thought about it and knew that I had to mature. I know I have to keep maturing and get better.”
Reed took official visits to Arkansas, Auburn, Arizona State and Texas, but his dream had always been to be a Razorback.
“Arkansas did play Texas in a bowl game and did whip them pretty bad,” Reed said.
He admits signing with Arkansas was a dream come true and it was a special day to have in his hometown on Feb. 5.
“It was a pretty good day for me,” Reed said. “I wanted to come here and play for my home state and get things done right. Now I get that chance and I am going to do my best with it.”
Reed Fills The Need For Speed
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