"I used to have administrators telling me that they'd see him — 95 degrees in the summer — outside throwing footballs into a target," Snell said. "He'd be bugging kids all the time to stay after practice and run routes with him. He's the type of kid that just lives and breathes the game of football."
Reid led Thurston to an 8-2 record this past season, and helmed an option/spread offense that set a school record for scoring (34.2 points per game).
"We ran a triple-option veer as well as spread shotgun throwing the ball," Snell said. "He had to learn how to read coverages, and he had to run two diverse offenses."
Reid also played some DB at Thurston, but Snell used him sparingly to avoid injuring his QB. At Colorado, the 5-11, 195-pound Reid will play in the defensive backfield. Snell thinks Reid's experience as a quarterback will help in the transition.
"He got to a point where he understood where the weaknesses of coverages were, so when he's in a coverage (as a DB), he has a pretty good sense as to where his help is at on the field, and what areas of the field might be vulnerable," Snell said.
But Snell said Reid will also bring the kind of physical tools that a defensive back needs. Thurston players are no strangers to drill work designed to give its athletes quick and nimble feet. Snell said Reid's strong work ethic paid off and he learned to excel in the drills, and got his 40 time down to the 4.45-4.48 range along the way.
"He's got as quick of feet as any kid I've seen in 23 years of coaching high school football," Snell said. "He's got the ability to stop on a dime and change direction. His straightaway speed time is good, but it's not something that would just blow you away. But his ability to maintain balance and quickness — which is way more important as a defensive back than straightaway speed — is something that is a real value to him and something that's rare."
Snell said that because Reid was somewhat of a late bloomer, he didn't attract heavy recruiting interest until just prior to his senior season. That's when Big Ten schools (Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois) and "all the MAC schools and Navy" started requesting film on Reid. Once they saw his quickness on film, the phone calls started. But by that time, Reid had already verballed to Colorado (June, 2003, according to Snell).
"Just when things really started to pick up, Corey went out and visited Colorado," Snell said. "Their coaches did a good job of showing interest early, getting film on him and really getting on him quick. He committed before a lot of schools really had a chance to get a foot in the door. When he did that, basically, I asked him if he was interested in visiting other schools and he said no."
Redford, Mich., is a western suburb of Detroit. Reid is one of three players from the state to give verbal commitment to the Buffs this year. Gary Barnett hinted on last year's Signing Day that Colorado might make a move into recruiting Michigan.
This class will bring the first players to come to CU from Michigan in Barnett's tenure as head coach in Boulder. But Barnett is familiar with the state from his time as head coach at Northwestern, and as an assistant at Colorado 15 years ago, when the Buffs mined the Detroit area for players such as Michael Westbrook and Charles Johnson.
Snell said that Colorado football carries a positive image in Michigan, despite the state being in the heart of Big Ten country. Snell said that the Buffs' recent presence in the state could be a good move for CU because of the amount of talent in the state compared to the amount of recruiting that goes on.
"As far as how much pressure our kids get for the amount of talent that's here, it's still pretty open," he said.
Michigan has a population of over 10 million people — just over twice the size of Colorado. Roughly 950,000 people live in the city of Detroit, but the city's suburbs are growing as the city population spreads outward.
"To tell you the truth, we don't get recruited real hard," Snell said of the Detroit suburbs. "There isn't a ton of (recruiting) competition. Michigan (University) is so national, that unless you are touted as a high school All-American, you're going to have a hard time getting a scholarship there."
Snell said the biggest challenge a school like Colorado faces in recruiting Michigan is that not every kid wants to move out of the Midwest.
"But as far as their name, it's is as good as any of the schools in the Big Ten," Snell said. "I think Coach Barnett did a very smart thing to get his hat in the ring and grab some of these Michigan kids because that's going to do nothing but open some eyes."
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