Before he headed to Alabama, running back Eddie Lacy put together a decorated career at Dutchtown.
When time came for the annual All-American events, Under Armour expressed interest. When a knee injury prevented Lacy from playing in the game, Under Armour backed away.
A year later, Eric Reid picked up where Lacy left off, becoming the first All-American in Dutchtown history.
“It’s a huge honor,” Reid said. “Every football player wants to be an All-American. It is something that I have been working on for what feels like my entire life.
“Now what my parents have been beating into my head all these years finally pays off.”
From the classroom – 4.39 GPA - to the football field – No. 8 ranked safety in the country - Reid has become a jack-of-all-trades.
“You go to sleep easy at night because he’s going to be eligible and he does the right thing,” said Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia. “The leadership part of it is invaluable, and we use him as an example to the rest of the kids.
“He’s what a student athlete should be like.”
Doing things the right way, both on and off the gridiron, seems to be second nature for the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Reid.
Of course, others aren’t hesitant about letting the Reid family know about the ways of their son.
“One of the other parents on the team came up last year during the football awards program, and she was talking to Eric and I walked up,” said Eric Reid Sr. “She said Mr. Reid, I want to tell you how much of a pleasure it is to know your son and see how he handles himself. His clothes never hang off of him. He always comes dressed in slacks and a shirt, not jeans and a shirt. He is always respectful and never steps out of line.
“That just sums up the kind of kid he has become. He knows how to carry himself; he knows right from wrong.”
Despite being an All-American and experiencing the fanfare that comes with being one of the nation’s top prospects, Reid has kept his head on straight – no surprise to those who know him best.
“He knows that football won’t always be there for him,” said Sharon Guillory-Reid, Eric’s mother. “He works hard in the classroom and also at his part-time job because he understands that something could happen to him. He has the lifelong dream of making it to the NFL, but he knows that his athleticism could leave him one day. His mind, however, will always be healthy.”
Even during tough times, which Reid has seen plenty of, the senior has kept a smile on his face and determination in his heart.
“He was plagued with injuries, from shoulder surgeries to a broken clavicle in three places,” Reid Sr. said. “When you are that young, and all that happens, it can discourage you. But, he never got that way. And now, he knows that something like that is not the end of the world.”
Through 10 regular season games, Reid has recorded 51 tackles, five for a loss, one forced fumble, three interceptions and four pass break ups.
“I think he has had a really good year,” Saia said. “No. 1 is you can’t put a stat on him running every defense, lining everybody up and being a coach on the field. No. 2 is people don’t throw in the middle of the field. I think 51 tackles is a lot of tackles for a free safety. I’m tickled to death with the season he’s had.
“When LSU, Florida, Alabama and a bunch more offer you a scholarship, then that tells you what kind of player you have in Eric Reid.”
Headed to San Antonio to represent Dutchtown and LSU this January, Reid said that Tiger fans should tune in for a show.
“I already went and got a new LSU sweater and hat, so I am going to be representing with purple and gold the whole time,” he said. “I am pretty pumped about the competition level of the game, as well. It is a really special honor, and I just want to make the most of it.”
Eric Reid All-American Ceremony Video Below