Learning Process

<b>Willie Reid,</b> a redshirt sophomore from Warner Robins, Ga., enjoyed a solid preseason for the Seminoles. He had made steady, quiet strides at wide receiver -- until Friday night, that is. Reid exploded for six catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in FSU's final preseason scrimmage, showing the coaching staff he will be ready when called upon. Click here to see how Reid's transition from tailback to wideout is going. "My goal is to get the technique down and master it," Reid said.

The switch from tailback to receiver left quite an impression on Willie Reid.

It wasn't a good one either.

"I didn't want to move at first," Reid said and laughed following Florida State's Saturday morning practice. "I was like, ‘Man, what is going on? The coach is playing games with me or what? ‘ But I have adapted to it. I like it pretty much now."

The versatile Reid, a redshirt sophomore from Warner Robins, Ga., enjoyed a solid preseason for the Seminoles. He had made steady, quiet strides until Friday night, exploding for six catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in FSU's final preseason scrimmage.

Reid, in fact, turned in one of the best plays of the preseason when he snagged a pass from backup quarterback Fabian Walker and sustained a crushing hit, but stayed on his feet and scampered to a 44-yard touchdown. He also scored on a 17-yard pass from starter Chris Rix.

Reid said he thought he chipped a tooth on the second touchdown, but his smile revealed a bright outlook.

"I just try my best at everything and that's all I can do,'' Reid said.

"I believe if I work hard every day, practice on what the coaches tell me to do, and be coachable, if I can do what they tell me to do I'll be fine.''

Reid, voted the offensive Player of the Year in the state of Georgia, was recruited by FSU as a tailback. With good reason. Reid rushed for 5,346 yards and scored 65 touchdowns during his stellar prep career.

But so much for running to stardom for the Seminoles.

Reid was moved to receiver during his first fall practice in 2001 as the coaching staff wanted to utilize his athleticism at the position after season-ending knee injuries to Robert Morgan and Anquan Boldin. On his way to earning a spot in the rotation, Reid suffered a fractured fibula in his left leg during the third week of practice and was lost for the season.

Upon his return, Reid found himself back at tailback during spring practice 2002. He was named the top offensive newcomer as well as the most improved running back during spring practice. Of course, Reid's exceptional pass-catching skills coming out the backfield also were on display. Add a crowded backfield to the mix, and guess what?

Reid was moved back to wide receiver this past spring.

Now he has found a home, though it hasn't been easy.

"It has been a learning process but I am starting to get comfortable with it," Reid said.

"Learning different techniques and things to throw the defensive backs off. It's still a learning process. My goal is to get the technique down and master it. Oh, yeah, it's totally different (than running back). At tailback it's like, 'Here's the ball, this is where you are supposed to go (laughing). You see an opening -- it's natural.

"With route running and playing receiver, it's about different coverages and reading things on the go. I had a small (trouble) adjusting to it but I will be alright."

Reid will surely continue to earn high marks if he catches the football like he did Friday. His consistency has impressed offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden and his running ability following the catch has never been questioned. Basically, Reid has been one of the unit's most consistent performers from his split-end position.

"We have main receivers with P.K. Cro, and D-Rob," Reid said. "They are the main receivers right now. Then me, Chris Davis, Lorne Sam and some others are just role players right now. A possession receiver. Get a first down here and there. Try to help those guys out when they are out of the game. We all know our roles. We are all battling for spots. We will be okay."

Reid also thinks the Seminoles' offense will be just fine this year. While questions continue to swirl around an inexperienced offensive line, Reid says the Seminoles have more than enough weapons.

"I think this year's line is young but it's very athletic, Reid said. "Last year's line was a veteran line that could do a lot of things. But there's so much to learn. That's why it's a challenge to go out and here and compete each day to try to get better. We are beginning to jell and come together."

"The quarterbacks, they are showing their A game right now. They are slinging it around. They are making the right reads and putting the ball in the right spot. It's easy to be playing with those guys right now. Chris has come a long way. Fabian, too. A receiver's job is easy playing with those two. They are giving us an opportunity to make plays."

That's all Reid asks -- even from a new position.

"All I can do is keep working. I want to help this team win," Reid said.


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