As a junior at Thibodaux High, Trovon Reed spent some time in San Antonio at the U.S. Army All-American Combine.
One year later he will return to San Antonio, but this time it will be to participate in one of the nation’s most prestigious All-American games.
Reed, a four-star prospect and ranked No. 52 overall in the Scout 300, is coming off a senior season that did not go according to plan. He suffered a minor knee injury that forced him to miss nearly five games, but he still finished with 1,527 yards of total offense that consisted of 824 yards passing and six touchdowns to go with 703 yards rushing and nine scores.
Reed was forced to play quarterback rather than receiver, and he came through to help lead the Tigers to the Class 5A quarterfinals. Thibodaux came up short on the road against the eventual 5A state champions West Monroe (45-21) to end the season at 8-5, but Reed displayed the grit that one would expect to see from the No. 1 player in the state.
“It was a tough season and it didn’t end the way we wanted, but we played hard and fought,” said Reed.
When Thibodaux walked off the field following the loss to West Monroe it would be the last time that several of head coach Dennis Lorio’s players would strap on a helmet and shoulder pads. However, for Reed, there were still two more opportunities to compete on the high school level before taking his skills to college ball.
First, there was the Hawaiian/Polynesia-Mainland Bowl in Honolulu the second week of December. Reed made the trip, but was hampered by an ankle injury that prevented him from showcasing his skills the way he would have liked to.
Reed will have another opportunity to show why he is the 11th ranked wide receiver during January's U.S. Army game. Some have questioned his ranking, and others feel that he may not have earned it on the field.
However, none of that stuff matters to the 6-foot, 178-pound Reed.
“I’m going just to play ball and play my game,” noted Reed, who says he isn’t going to San Antonio looking to prove the naysayers wrong. “I’m the type of person where I don’t worry about what other people say. I just listen to the people close to me. I hear all kind of stuff about how I’m overrated, but how do they know when they haven’t really seen me play that much? I know what I can do and so do the coaches.”
One coach that Reed is referring to is Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor, whom Reed made a verbal commitment to back on Nov. 15 – the birthday of his late mother.
A couple of other coaches that are quite fond of Reed’s abilities are LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales. Both Wilson and Gonzales are new to LSU, but neither wasted time in letting Reed know just how much they covet his skills as a player.
Wilson recruited Reed when he was the wide receivers coach at Tennessee, and once he was able to hit the recruiting trail for LSU he made his way over to Thibodaux High School. Reed says that Wilson has always respected his commitment to Auburn, and that he has always had respect for Wilson for taking that approach.
As a result of numerous talks with Wilson, Reed decided to take an unofficial visit to LSU on Dec. 19 to see how things were now that the Tigers had two new coaches on the offensive side of the ball.
How was his time in Baton Rouge?
“I went to hang out with Coach Frank to check out practice and see what the vibe is with the new coaches,” explained Reed. “Me and Coach Frank can relate to each other because he’s been through similar things that I’ve been through. That’s why we’re so tight. It’s not even about going to LSU when we talk, but more about me and him getting close.”
The similarities that Reed referred to are also what helped him get so close to Taylor from Auburn.
“They’re just like me in that they came from a small town and they didn’t have anything growing up either, like a bunch of money or anything,” Reed said. “They can relate to what I’m going through and what they had to do to get to the point they’re at now.”
Reed says that he was impressed with what he saw from Wilson and the rest of the coaches when he was at practice. One coach in particular really grabbed his attention, though.
“I like him a lot,” Reed said of Gonzales. “He’s real energized and he teaches receivers a lot. I really respect him because he came at me with no lies and he didn’t stutter or anything. He told me that he wanted me and that he wasn’t letting the No. 1 player leave the state. He just shot it all at me.”
Gonzales wasn’t all talk, though, according to Reed.
“He was like ‘I bet everybody always says they want to use you like Percy’. He said who do you think coached Percy? Everybody says they want to use me like Percy but he’s the one who molded Percy into the player he was. That’s pretty impressive.”
Wilson and Gonzales have convinced Reed to take an official visit to LSU on Jan. 23, which is one week after he will visit Auburn officially. Auburn is still clearly in the driver’s seat for his signature, but it’s obvious that Wilson and Gonzales have gotten Reed’s attention.
“I’m not going to say it has me thinking about it (commitment), but I’m not going to say it doesn’t,” Reed said. “I’m all Auburn right now but I’m going to take my visit there and see what it’s like now. I don’t mind going on a visit because you only get to do the recruiting thing once and you have to find out everything you can on everyone and everything.”