Panama City Bay athlete Bert Reed (6-0, 175lbs) decided to end his holdout of going public when he committed to the University of Florida on Wednesday. Reed plays quarterback at Bay High and could really play anywhere for the Gators.
Bert Reed said he decided he wasn't going to wait any longer and miss out on the rapidly filling up Class of 2007 Gravy Train and called Coach Meyer Wednesday to give him the news.
"I am officially committed to Florida as of today," Reed said. "I talked to Coach Meyer and I kind of committed to them a while back. He told me that they were getting full and a lot of guys were climbing on and it is really getting close. They have really always been on top of me and recruited me hard. Recruiting has really become a pain too and I just wanted to get it over with."
Reed has rushed for 682 yards and six touchdowns and has thrown for 706 yards and six touchdowns this year. It is his elusiveness and his ability to change direction that have had Florida and Alabama (his second choice) on him for a while.
"The main reason I committed to Florida is the speed," The speedster said. "Coach Meyer told me they want the fastest team in college football. I know I am fast."
The Gators were facing a battle with the University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide is actually a closer school to Reed than Florida.
"Alabama was the main competition," he said. "The main thing with them is I didn't want to be too far away with my mom and all. They are also a great school and football program. I was really happy when I was offered by Alabama."
In the end it was the lure of Gainesville and the team that Urban Meyer is assembling that led Reed to be a Gator. Urban Meyer and staff really wanted this one and they stayed on him hard.
"I went to Gainesville for basketball camp a few times and Friday Night Lights," he said. "Coach Meyer really liked me and what I could do. They showed me they really wanted me. They were also the first to offer me and that was really special. They saw something before anyone else. They offered me in the spring."
Defensive Backs Coach Chuck Heater recruits the panhandle area and was the first to eyeball the speedy Reed. Heater would probably love to get him in the secondary at Florida with all the intangibles Reed brings to the table.
"I talked to Coach Heater a lot and he stayed in constant contact with me," Reed said. "He is a straight forward guy. He stayed on me. I know he is a great coach, I just felt like he was really honest and not just trying to recruit me."
Reed hasn't visited The Swamp during the season, but he is anxious to get there before the year is out. He plans on making the last two home games of the 2006 season.
"It was a great game and well coached," he said. "There is a lot of speed and I like that. There was a lot of camaraderie. I watched most of the game and watched the post game stuff. I have not been there yet and I should have. It's only a couple of hours away and I need to get there. I am going to try and be at both of the home games left on the schedule.
Here is a chance that Reed may be able to enroll early at UF. If so, he will join several other Gator commitments in that quest to get a jump-start on the system and have a better chance of seeing the playing field next year. Whichever way it goes, it is clear by the way that things have shaped up in this recruiting class, that Reed was a very high priority for this staff.
NOTES: In his junior season, Reed threw for 734 yards and rushed for 509 more. He has been timed as low as 10.4-seconds in the 100-meter dash. At the Florida State camp earlier this year, the Seminoles' coaches timed Reed at 4.31-seconds in the 40-yard dash.