Reed Looks to Promising Provo Future

Why is one Cougar receiver still playing at BYU when given every reason and opportunity to leave after the friends he came with and the coach he wanted to play for are gone? TBS got the answer to that question and more from one of the rising stars on the BYU offense.

Michael Reed was a first-team All-State selection at the 5-A level in Texas, arguably the most talented and competitive class in high school football. Reed had many opportunities to play locally for the Big XII but spurned them along for the opportunity to play for then BYU Head Coach Gary Crowton.

"I was real tight with Antwuan Harris before we both signed to play at BYU," Reed recalled. "We'd call each other all the time and when I decided to sign he soon followed. I was, and still am, very close to Antwuan and I miss him a lot. We're almost like brothers."

Upon arrival in Provo, Reed found a bevy of other non-LDS minority players from out of state with whom he hit it off immediately. "It was a real good feeling with all of us Texas boys who came in here," said Reed. "We did everything together. We stayed next door to each other, ate all of our meals together and shared everything. It was real nice and it's unfortunate not to have them here."

The players Reed mentioned as his "Texas boys" included Harris and B.J. Mathis and Karland Bennett, of Berkner High School in Richardson, Tex. Those two, along with several other out-of-state recruits are all gone now due to various reasons. Many assumed that Reed would follow suit given the circumstances found in the unique environment that Provo and BYU presents to minority or non-LDS athletes.

"Oh, I thought about leaving," Reed admitted. "I won't lie to you. The thought crossed my mind more than once. I didn't think about it all that much, but yeah, the thought crossed my mind for sure. I mean, playing for Coach Crowton was the primary reason I came here in the first place along with playing with Antwuan and the other guys."

But Reed stuck it out, playing a prominent role on the scout team while red-shirting last season. "It was hard not knowing what would become of the program and everything else," said Reed. "I had other opportunities to play elsewhere at places like Texas A&M and other schools, but this is the place I decided to play at out of high school and I'm not one to quit and not stick it out."

Reed is now very glad he stuck around. He is excited to finish the season strong and become a major contributor to the Cougar offense for the rest of this season and the three years after that.

"I'm my own man and being a man is about sticking to your commitment and following through on what you know is best," said Reed. "It's not about following your friends or others. I don't necessarily blame the other guys for leaving and I wish them well, but I'm not them. I had to do what was best for me and staying and playing at BYU was what was best for me."

One of the big reasons why Reed stuck around was his confidence in now head coach Bronco Mendenhall and the offense he brought in with Robert Anae. "I heard [Anae] was bringing in Texas Tech's offense and that we'd be throwing it a ton and I thought that yeah, I want to be a part of this," Said Reed. "But more than that, I had a lot of confidence in Coach Mendenhall and the direction he'd take this program and I think it's obvious that he's taking it in the right direction."

Reed recently exploded on to the scene catching five passes for over 100 yards and a touchdown against Air Force. So how satisfying was that performance to Reed given everything he's gone through since coming to Provo? "It was just the best feeling ever," said Reed. "I just had to wait and be patient. I'm still talking about that game, but I got to let it go because if I'm still talking about that game for much longer here it's going to get old. I need to build on that and just get better. But yeah, that game was great; I feel it was a real turning point for me. I just have to build on that with this next game, the year after and then the year after that."

So what has Reed gained since weathering the tremendous winds of change that have been blowing since he first signed a letter of intent to play for BYU? "I'm much stronger as a person," declared Reed. "Challenges are what make people stronger and learning from them is how you grow. I'm definitely stronger and a better person now for overcoming those challenges. I know that more challenges will come my way and now I can build on how I grew from my first challenge. That's what makes you stronger and I aim to be as strong and as good a player by the time I graduate from BYU. This is the best place for me to become the player and person I know I can be. I'm very happy to be here."

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