Get Him a Drink

Konrad Reuland was having a tough time talking on Wednesday night. He began coughing quite loudly on the other end of the phone.

Gim him a drink.

"I actually did and it went down the wrong pipe," Reuland said.

After he was able to talk again, Reuland couldn't help but laugh about it. "It was actually quite embarrassing," he said.

That's why I'm witing about it, Konrad.

On a serious note, Konrad Reuland is one of the top tight end prospects in the entire country. At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, he's a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses.

"My playmaking ability," he said when asked what makes him different than most other tight ends. "I can stretch the field with my speed I feel like I have really good hands. I know I have good speed and I like to use it with my size to create problems for the defense."

Reuland was a major problem for opposing defenses last season as he caught balls from current USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. He finished the season with 47 catches for 820 yards and seven touchdowns. When asked about his expectations for this coming season, he made it quite clear that he has the team first.

"We have high expectations here," he said. "We've been working real hard not to let ourselves down. We're shooting for 14-0, to win a championship, and simply to win every game we play. We're replacing some quality players but that's always been our focus. We're starting our season Monday night in Seattle and Quest Field so we're very excited about that."

Reuland has quickly developed into a pass catching specialist. He was a basketball player up until his sophomore season.

"I started playing basketball when I was in like 5th grade," he said. "My freshman year at Mater Dei I was on the varsity team that won the state championship and finished third in the country. I never played football until then. Football was always my first love but my parents didn't want me playing growing up. When I transferred to Mission (Viejo) as a sophomore that's when it all started."

Things came naturally for the talented tight end. He was voted All-League in his first year playing and then his junior year performance put his name on the national recruiting map.

Reuland, who carries a 3.9 GPA and a 1620 (1080) SAT score, had a busy summer. He took unofficial visits to most of the schools on his current list of college favorites.

"I went all over the place," he said. "I didn't do any camps except for the NIKE Camp. I just took a tour around the country checking our college campuses and meeting with coaches and things like that."

In addition to having been to four in-state schools (USC, UCLA, Cal, and Stanford), Reuland made visits to four from out of state.

"In addition to the ones out here I went to see Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Ohio State," he said.

The talented pass cather, who has written offers from all of his favorites, said he visited Miami because he wanted to learn more about the program.

"I became interested in them because of how successful they've been at putting tight ends into the league," he said. "Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow Jr, the list goes on. I was just thinking how they're the premier tight end college right now. Plus, it's located in Florida."

Reuland took an unofficial visit to UM during the summer and came away impressed.

"I really liked it," he said. "It's a nice lifestyle there. South Beach is right there. The weather, the beaches, that's nice. Like I said, though, the tradition there is pretty crazy. They've had a lot of good tight ends lately so they must be doing something right. I met Coach Coker and he's a real down to earth, humble, fun guy. He's a guy I could play for. I just really enjoyed the whole experience and Miami's definitely on my list."

Reuland isn't ready to name a top five yet and that likely won't happen until after the season.

"I really want to focus on my senior season," he said. "I want to focus on winning every game we play. Recruiting will still be there after the season and that's when I'll probably know my top three or top five. Until then, I'm just gonna talk to the coaches and watch how the season goes and see what each team is doing."

The senior, who was born in Ohio and lived there until he was three years old, has often heard the rumblings about how he's a lock to become a Trojan.

"I hear that a lot," he said. "Honestly, I don't have a favorite. Going to USC, I mean, I really like them. Mark (Sanchez) and I have been good friends since we were little kids. It would be great to play with him again. Playing this close to home would be great too. But I won't make my decision based on that. I'm trying to find the best place for me academically and from a football standpoint. Whatever school can get my the furthest, get me into the league, that's my dream. That's my goal and that'll be the most important factor in my final decision."

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