RECRUITING: Bert Reed, A Name To Remember

Panama City Bay quarterback Bert Reed has established himself as one of the premier playmakers in The Sunshine State. This past spring, the 6-0 175-pound speedster was provided with the challenge of proving that he is the fastest high school athlete in Bay County.

(See Bert Reed profile)

"One of our coaches asked me if I really thought I was the fastest guy in the county," Reed said. "I wasn't going to say for sure, but I told him that I thought I was. He told me that the county track meet was on Wednesday if I wanted to prove it. I decided to go out there. I didn't have long to practice because I work. We get out of school at two-thirty and I had to be at work at four. There were only two days to practice.

"I didn't get out of the blocks the fastest," he continued. "I ran hard though and after sixty yards, I felt pretty good about finishing the race."

Reed won the Bay County meet and posted an impressive time of 10.5 seconds --- the first and only time that he ever ran for the Tornadoes. Not bad for a guy who had all of two days to practice. Furthermore, he outran two members of the vaunted Mosley High backfield, including tailback Enrique Davis, who has a scholarship offer from the University of Florida. Davis finished fourth.

Reed has also posted an electronic forty time of 4.42 and a handheld of 4.4 seconds.

He currently has scholarship offers from Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, and South Florida. Florida coach Urban Meyer spoke to Reed about continuing his role as a playmaker in the Gators offense.

"Coach Meyer talked to me about being a slot receiver because he thinks that I can make a lot of things happen with the ball in my hands," Reed stated. "He knows that I can run and pass. He said that might be a possibility at times. I know what those Utah receivers did. They got a lot of opportunities with the ball. That's something that excites me. He told me that there were already some guys at receiver, but I'm not afraid to compete.

"I've been to Gainesville a few times for team basketball camp," he added. "I haven't had a chance to look around campus though. We stay pretty busy when we're there. They (the Florida football coaches) want me to come down for the Friday Night Lights Camp. That would be a good chance to visit the campus. I'd like to do that, but I don't have a car. If I could catch a ride with Enrique (Davis) or Carlton (Johnson) I'd do that."

Meanwhile, one hundred miles away in Tallahassee, the Florida State staff is expected to step up and present Reed with a scholarship offer.

"Coach (Mickey) Andrews told me that they want to get me over there and into their camp," he said. "He said that he's vouching for me with the staff to get a scholarship. He wants me to play cornerback. He said that I could get the offer then (at camp). He likes the fact that I'm taller than 5-9 and have speed. He was telling me that they've lost two corners and he thinks I'm somebody who can come in there and make plays."

Reed's playmaking abilities are due in part because of genetics. His mother, Veronica, was an outstanding athlete at Mosley where she starred in track and basketball. His uncle, Quinton Reed is still considered one of the most prolific tailbacks to ever come out of Mosley High School. He earned All-State honors, had several offers from Division-I schools and eventually signed with Florida State. Another uncle, Harvey Reed, was also one of the finest athletes in the panhandle when he suited up for the Dolphins.

At every level of football that he's played, Reed has not only proven he belongs as a starter, but he's shown that he has natural leadership abilities.

When he was in the sixth grade, he started at quarterback for Jinks Junior High School. He started each of his three years at quarterback. He was a two-way starter during his eighth grade year at quarterback and cornerback. He had six interceptions as a corner. It was the only time that Reed played corner in his football career.

He has been a two-year starter at Bay High School. Both of those years were spent at quarterback. He ran the Wing-T spread his sophomore year when the coach was Jim Scroggins, now the head man at Orlando Evans. Last year, Coach Mike Healey overhauled the system at Bay, changing to the veer option.

Reed threw for 2200 yards and 18 touchdowns leading Bay to an undefeated 9-0 regular season record as a sophomore. The Tornadoes were ousted in the regional semi-finals by eventual state champion Jacksonville Bolles, 45-19. The 10-1 finish was one of the best in Bay history.

This past season, the Tornadoes struggled to a 4-6 finish. Reed had perhaps his best outing against Alabama powerhouse, Enterprise High School, where he scored twice on runs of five and 80 yards to lead Bay to a stunning 17-14 victory. Reed ran for 112 yards on just 12 carries and passed for 64 additional yards in the contest.

He will join his teammates in Tampa for the USF seven-on-seven camp. Last year, the Tornadoes upset Hoover, Alabama in their seven-on-seven camp.

"I'll probably play a bit at wide receiver in the camp," said Reed. "That will probably allow me to get the ball more often. That's one reason that I wouldn't mind playing receiver in college. It's an exciting position to play. I do feel like I can compete at quarterback somewhere at the next level. It's still early and I'm not making any decisions right now.

Reed said that he currently has a 2.6 core GPA and scored an 840 on the SAT. He will retake the test though.

He has a 33-inch vertical, a bench press of 255, and squats 360.

While the offers are certain to continue pouring in for Reed, staying in-state seemingly is most important for him.

"I like Florida, Florida State, and USF," he said. "But, right now, it's between Florida and Florida State. I think that's who it'll come down to when the time comes to make my pick, but it's still early."

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