Reeves Still has Much Thinking to do (Part 2)

In part two of our chat with the Godfather of West Roxbury (MA) Catholic Memorial CB Armani Reeves' we get details on how hard his best friend is recruiting him for the Buckeyes, his decision criteria, the deliberation process, and more.

Sam Webb: Have Armani and Camren sat down and kind of played out the scenarios? ‘Hey, you know, we could be together at Ohio State’ or ‘hey we could be on opposite sides of the most intense rivalry in all of sports’?

Brent Williams: “It was funny because, one, Camren won’t recruit Armani. He doesn’t talk to him about it.  He lets him make the decision, so that’s not happening. He's not trying to get (Armani) to go (to Ohio State) because if he goes there and has a horrible experience, he’s going to say ‘he recruited me here’ and ‘now I hate you.’  So he won’t recruit him. But in the conversation (during the in-home visit with Mattison Tuesday night), one of the things that Coach Mattison illustrated… he said ‘I know that that’s your brother; and I want you to envision the idea that you could line up on the other side of the field, in a different color uniform, in the greatest rivalry of all of football, and still walk off the field and be brothers.’ I think that’s important for him to understand; I think that’s important for both of them to understand – that that can take place. And whether it is that they’re both on the same sideline together, their relationship is going to stay the same.  They’ve been through too much for too long. And our relationship with him and his family is going to stay the same. We told him, don’t think that we can’t get to your games and figure out a way to get to Camren’s games. We’ll make it work. It gets done. So we’re not overly concerned about that.

Sam Webb: To briefly backtrack a bit… What went into him suddenly dropping Penn State and saying ‘you know what; it’s Ohio State and Michigan’?

Brent Williams: “You know what, that’s a great question. I had my feelings that that was something he was considering, but it wasn’t anything definite at that point. But I think what it came down to was he had developed a comfort level with the Michigan coaching staff, and he had developed a comfort level with the Ohio State coaching staff that didn’t exist with the new Penn State staff.  One of the things that we promised Penn State was as soon as we knew that that was not the direction, or that was the direction, we would inform them to be fair to the process.  Because there was someone else that I’m sure they may want to offer.  It’s not fair for us to hold that process up for them, with either of them. So before Camren announced to the sites that he was going to change his commitment, he notified the staff to let them know.  And before Armani really got heavily involved in deliberations about Michigan or Ohio State, it needed to be done to let them know so that they can move on at Penn State and look for whoever else was on their list."

Sam Webb: Okay, back to the here and now.  Let’s say that you’re sitting down and it’s the deliberation time. What are the major considerations that are going to go into this decision? The major factors. And what’s that process going to entail? Is it him sitting alone? Is it you guys sitting down as a family? How is that going to go down?

Brent Williams: “All of the above. We have a list of about 20 to 25 factors that we actually scale out, and I made Brennan do it when he went through the process.  It makes them identify what’s important to them about each school, then from there we grade those out, and then we kind grade the school on each one of those factors. Now... it gives us a number at the end of that that will tell us, ‘this is where these numbers say’, but that may not be where your heart says. So it just gives you an indication of what might be the best situation based on what’s important to you, or what you put out there as important to you. So it’s a pretty deliberate process that we’ll go through as a group, but ultimately I’m not going to walk around the campus at either place.  He has to do that. So he has to ultimately make that decision. And I’m sure his mother will give great input; so will his aunt, who’s been on all of the visits; and his uncle. He’s got a great support system around him that will allow him to make a decision, and the thing that we have tried to instill in him, or just make sure is reinforced, ‘is whatever the decision, you’re not choosing between heaven and hell here, you know? I know in the eyes of each school you are, but you’re not choosing between heaven and hell… you’re choosing between good and good. And it’ll work out. So choose the place that you are absolutely happy with, and don’t look back.  Enjoy your four or five years of college and go on."

Sam Webb:  Without going into all 20, because I want to let you go, but are there a few factors… a few criteria that you think kind of really really stick out as far as the magnitude of their importance?

Brent Williams: “They run the gamut, from the academic profile, what a specific major is, we get into proximity, we deal with how easy it is to fly into a place, we deal with what does it cost for the family to go to games. It’s everything. We try to account for everything that may be important. What the playing time is, what is church life would be, who we know in the area that can watch out for him. It’s pretty detailed. What is your relationship with the strength coach? How did you like the strength coach?  There are two people you better like if you’re a college football player… your position coach and your strength coach. The head coach, and I’ve said this forever, is a guy that you really only see if you get a big award or you get in big trouble. So that’s important, but it’s really not the end of the world. You have to have a good relationship with him, but it’s not the end of the world if you like one better. But your position coach and your strength coach, all of those things that you deal with on a day to day basis, and how do you fit with the rest of the team? What’s the chemistry like? What are those guys like because you’re not always on the field; it’s not about just hanging around the 110,000 folks that show up on Saturday. What about those other 350-some days that there’s nobody there for you? So we measure all of those things, and try to put numbers on them so that you can get an idea of where each school stands.”

Sam Webb:  Alright, let’s tie it up and put a bow on it with this last question. Signing day is next Wednesday.  When is this this deliberation session going to go down? When and how is he going to announce his choice?

Brent Williams: “Well, I’m not saying that there’s a date. I would say he’s going to have some time… a lot of time… this weekend to think it through. He has a pretty good game on Friday. After that I think he’ll have Saturday and Sunday to kind of think things through.  We’ll sit down over the weekend and kind of talk about the pros and cons of both situations and go from there. We’re not doing a hat; we’re not doing a press conference. Call the coach, and tell him you’re coming… then call the other coach, and tell him you’re not. It’s pretty simple. At this point the whole mystery behind pulling hats and whatever tricks you got… we’re just not really focused on that. We’re just trying to find the right school that is going to help him going forward.”

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