GIDEL: Reece the Final Piece?

The University of Kentucky and its fans have more to celebrate than just Saturday's victory over Vanderbilt; the staff is still hard at work and improving arguably the best class set to arrive at UK in over a decade. Objective number one, however, has still not been fulfilled - getting an impact junior college receiver. That's why all eyes have moved to California and El Camino, home to the Wildcats latest commitment and arguably the nation's best JUCO reciever.

The words have been echoed across the Bluegrass for months: UK needs a reciever. With the graduation of Scott Mitchell and Tommy Cook, the 'Cats need playmakers on a team that will be much improved in 2006.

That play-making receiver may be Marcel Reece, a 6-foot-3, 235 pound wide receiver, whom has been absolutely dominant since changing junior colleges and moving to El Camino this past season.

"Things are going really well for me," Reece said. "We ended the regular season undefeated, so there is little time to enjoy it right now, we're just focused on the playoffs."

Because of the tremendous success at El Camino this season, Reece has shot up the charts and into the homes of several major division 1 colleges.

"Schools that are currently offering are UNLV, Tulsa, Kentucky, Kansas State and Utah," Reece said. "I'm still getting some calls and weighing my options until after the season, but those are the ones that have offered me."

The University of Kentucky currently holds a verbal commitment from his teammate A.J. Grigsby, as well as extended offers to teammates Moses Manu (DT 6'3 245) and Marvin Arnold (OL 6'3 280). According to Reece, the Wildcats are very active at El Camino and has made a nice impression of what little he knows.

"Well, there's always rumors of (UK's) coaches coming around, but I'm just really talking to Coach (Ron) Caragher, my recruiting coach," Reece said about the Wildcats. "He really eases my mind about the recruiting process and my interest has grown a little bit, with the offer. I think I can really help their program. It definitely interests me with the SEC and everything - they play some great schools. I haven't really had a chance to get to know anyone else on the coaching staff, but I'm looking forward to meeting them."

With his teammates having already scheduled an official visit to Kentucky for December 3rd, many have already penciled in Reece for an official visit as well. That's a little premature says Reece, who wants to check out all of his options, first.

"No I haven't set it up (to Kentucky)," Reece answered, "but I haven't set any official visits up yet. It will probably take several offers to do so. I'm waiting to see who offers and who doesn't. I don't wanna set up all five too early. I only want to go to schools I'm really interested in, so I wanna wait until after the season."

"Hopefully, that will not be for another month," Reece stated, making reference to the fact, El Camino will more than likely contend for a national championship and a perfect season.

Reece has been an instrumental part of El Camino's run. After just 8 games, Reece had totaled 23 catches for 654 yards and 6 TD's. Reece, whom transferred to El Camino from Chaffey College, had 25 catches for over 600 yards all of last season.

His rise to prominance can be attributed to his work ethic. "I consider myself a hard worker - to say the least," Reece said of himself. "My goal is to go somewhere and make a spot for myself. Depth charts, they play a part, but in actuality, I think I can work my way into any situation."

As a senior at Hesperia, CA, Marcel Reese was a first team all-league selection in football, basketball and track. On the gridiron, he had 41 receptions for 989 yards and 11 touchdowns. His best 400 time in track is a 49.8.

"I always wanted to go to UCLA, out of high school, ya know," Reece admitted. "They've shown interest. If they offer, I'm not saying I'll jump on it and go, but I'd definitely look forward to the offer."

With UCLA still on the outside looking in with a scholarship offer, whose the favorite out of Reece's offer list? "Utah, I really like their style of offense," he said. "I wanna see how they end up doing towards their end of the season. Kansas State has also offered me - the coaching staff, things they have done with Quincy Morgan, - I've really taken an interest to them."

One thing is for sure, Reece, whose been compared to Terrell Owens by a member of the El Camino coaching staff, believes he'll add a dimension to whichever team adds him because he's a unique player.

"I plan to revolutionize the wide reciever position," the talented athlete stated. "I wanna be something different; the big, fast, physical guy, who gets in and does all the dirty work."

As for a timetable, when will the highly regarded playmaker make a decision? "I don't wanna put a sense of urgency on my decision," Reece concluded. I wanna take my time and my visits, enjoy it while I'm still hard at work and hopefully I can make the right decision for myself."

Despite a recent report that indicated Reece would be graduating in December, the El Camino star confirmed that he'll indeed be enrolling in the summer after graduating in the fall, having three years to play 2.

Whomever lands the standout will no doubt be getting arguably the best receiver in the junior college ranks.

"(Marcel)'s a great find for any school," El Camino assistant coach Jim Chambers said. "Anybody that can pick him up is getting a huge steal. He's like a big 'T.O.' on steroids. Just a huge kid with great speed, but without the attitude."


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