Randy Shannon is looking for a particular type of player at linebacker. You might be surprised at what he targets for certain positions on the field.
“It went great, very informative as always,” David Reese Sr. said of the visit with Shannon, his son David Reese, and the family. “Just listening to him talk football was a great thing. His experiences from the past… his visits with David and the comparables with David that he expressed that he sees in him with other players that he’s coached.
We asked what he saw in David and he listed a lot of players that he coached. He said, ‘one thing that people didn’t notice is that all these kids that I coached played running back in high school’. He said watching him run the ball aggressively like he does and downhill and playing no games; it helps have an eye for filling gaps and understanding what people want to do as far as blocking and how to attack runners. He talked about his instinctiveness on the football field. He said the other stuff about David was second to none, the people skills and just being a quality kid.
“It was eye opening that every single player that he had on the list he showed us was a great fit that compliment.”
Mr. Reese talked a little bit about Shannon and a coach and the way the family views him.
“We think he can help us to play fast and continue our development,” the elder Reese said. “One thing that caught a lot of coaches’ attention is the difference form David’s junior and senior year. It was how fast he was playing because he paid more attention to film study. When Coach Shannon talked defense, he understood why his guys played so much faster on defense, it wasn’t because of athleticism. As you know Antonio Morrison was on one leg for most of the season, so to still be able to be productive.”
The Reese family also visited Florida officially for the Florida State game a couple of weeks ago. Despite the loss by Florida, the visit went extremely well.
“The official visit went great,” Mr. Reese said. “We got there early on Friday and had their undivided attention. That was a positive piece. We got to see and observe the practice and be around the players and a chance to be in the coaches meetings before the games. They do things different and give them a light Thursday and go more aggressive on Friday more than people would expect the day before the game. They really moved around quite briskly on Friday.
“We got to see the vision of what they want to accomplish. It was just positive all the way around.
The game day atmosphere is also unique.
“It’s The Swamp,” he said adamantly. “One thing that is different from the mid-West attendance to down there, we noticed how people came to the games dressed to the nines compared to what we do in the mid-West. Young ladies in skirts and cowboy boots and young men in collared shirts on, it was unique.
“The RV area stuck out. When we got there Thursday it was already 50% packed and we couldn’t believe it. That Gator Walk… whew. It was one of the iconic experiences in college football for us.”
Right now David has four schools he is considering and the time for a decision is coming very soon. TCU, Nebraska, Texas, and Florida are the quartet and Thursday evening he flies out for his final official visit to Texas.
“We are on the way to our Texas visit today,” Mr. Reese said. “After the Texas visit we will come home and on Monday him, his mom, and I will sit down and talk and take it there from that.
“We don’t plan to draw this thing out, because school starts soon, I mean if he chooses Florida they start January 5.”
Early playing time hasn’t really been a factor for David, but with enrolling early and in January that has kind of changed the thinking a little bit. Michigan was not going to allow him to commit early, which is why he really started to look elsewhere.
“I think at all four of the places and it’s why we felt compelled to remove ourselves from the Michigan commitment, he should have the ability to see some time at the end of the first year. That wasn’t what we were looking for going in. Our main thing about the early enrollment was for him to get the opportunity to get a Bachelors and a Masters. It is still possible if he plays as a freshman because most of the schools try to get kids done in three and a half years. With a January enrollee he can have 21 credits before most of them in the class arrive on campus.
“We just couldn’t turn down that opportunity just to be a part of the home town team, especially with comparable Universities with great traditions and high academics.”
So the rush is on for a big linebacker with all the instincts and athletic ability you look for. Although they are heading to Texas, it appears the Gators are going to get the last chat with the Reese family.
“Sunday we have to rush back because we have the ‘Dream Team’ banquet. Then Coach Shannon and Coach McElwain are coming back and will be here Sunday night.”
The decision should follow a day or two later, and we will be there to cover the remainder of David Reese’s recruitment here on Scout.