Bert Reed is one of the top athletes on the Florida State roster. Coming out of high school Bert was a quarterback, but his speed and change of direction ability caused coaches to look at him as a wide receiver on the collegiate level.
After redshirting his freshman season Reed had a fantastic spring, showing that he can be a playmaker from his slot position for the Seminoles in 2008. On Thursday Bert busted out one of the best times in the 40, showing the elite speed many people thought he had.
"Ah well, I thought I did pretty well. I am happy about running a 4.3 but I'll be honest I was shooting for a 4.2. I had a couple problems with my back but I thought that I did well. This spring I was trying to improve and I'm just trying to work as hard as possible and go from there. I'm trying to improve in everything that I do."
Since arriving on campus Bert has been working hard learning his new position at slot receiver. His natural playmaking ability has made the transition easier on Reed, but he's put a lot of focus on working on his hands and route running this summer.
"My hands are what I'm trying to focus on most. I feel that I need to continue working on my hands. This is really my second year playing in the slot as a receiver because in high school I played quarterback. I feel my route running right now is pretty good, but of course I can always get better."
The coaches are looking to Bert as a guy they hope to depend on in 2008. Reed has been preparing for an increased role, working hard in the weight room to prepare his body for the wear and tear of the college season. He says his goal is to add 10 pounds during the summer lifting and conditioning session.
"I'm still at 165 (pounds). I'm trying my hardest to gain good weight. My target weight is 175. Coach (Stroud) told me that we'll get there. I drink 4 muscle milks a day. It probably has to do with my diet but I'm working on that (laughs) I'm getting a lot stronger which is good but just not adding weight." "Id love to try to get one of those return positions. I feel that I can really help the team out there. In the slot I feel I can do some things in space. I'll play wherever I need to, to help my team win."
Much has been said about the team's unity and growth as a cohesive unit since the coaching changes in 2007. The new mentality is paying off as the players are working harder then ever in hopes of getting Florida State back to top of college football. When asked about that, Bert was emphatic that change is there.
"The team is definitely coming around. Did you see all that speed out there today (Thursday)? Ah man, we have some athletes here."
Look for Bert to continue to develop this summer as he is a viable candidate to be a guy who'll play a lot in Preston Parker's role when he sits out from his suspension. Bert showed a lot of promise coming out of high school, and it looks like 2008 is when the fans are going to see that talent begin to become realized. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Bert as we track his progress during his redshirt freshman season.