Although Michigan signed some big time talent on the defensive line in the class of 2005, they will likely take another recruit to man the trenches in 2006. One of the targets on their early radar appears to be Harding (Warren, OH) high school's Antonio Reed. Reed, a 6-1, 290 pound defensive tackle, is very familiar with the Wolverines thanks to the Maize and Blue's deep ties in the Warren area. Harding is the alma mater of current Michigan linebacker Prescott Burgess, former linebacker Carl Diggs, and incoming wide receiver (and Reed's former teammate) Mario Manningham. In addition former Michigan DB Alfie Burch coaches defensive backs on the football team.
It's clear that the tradition rich high school is a hotbed for talent. What is it that makes their latest division 1 talent special? The answer is simple. Power! Tony Reed has big time strength. Warren Harding, which does official testing of its players, lists Tony at 21 reps of 225 pounds. For comparison sake, that's the same number that All Big Ten defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne of Wisconsin and Jonathan Babineaux of Iowa's posted at the NFL combine. Reed also has a listed squat of 502 pounds and 225 pound power clean, which isn't too bad for a 16 year old! Reed will put those numbers on display this summer when he makes the rounds to with his team to various camps throughout the Midwest. "The school (Warren G. Harding) is talking about taking us to Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, a lot of them," he said. As for who's been in contact with him the most, "Michigan and Virginia have been sending me the most mail."
A host of other teams across the Midwest and on east coast have been in contact with Reed and his favorite schools come from those areas as well. "My favorites are Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, Purdue and North Carolina," Reed said. "North Carolina just started sending me stuff and I kind of like them." Is there a leader among that group? "Not really, I've been a Michigan fan since I was a little kid though."
When it comes time to make his final decision Reed will consider several different factors, including the opinion of a special member of his family. "My mom will be a big part of it," Reed said. "That's who I'll go to if I have any questions and which college I should go to. Playing time and academics are very important too." Antonio Reed doesn't have a Michigan offer yet, he doesn't plan on making a decision anytime soon. "I'm going to take all my visits," Reed said. "I'm not in a hurry to make a decision."
In the meantime Reed will also be focusing on getting ready for his high school season. Harding was knocked out early in the playoffs last year by Lakewood St. Edwards, after finishing 8-2 against the nations sixth hardest schedule Next year's club is loaded with underclassmen talent, including sophomore running back Dan Herron (cousin of Prescott Burgess), linebacker/safety Sidney Glover, and linebacker David Harsch.
"Dan is a great player, he works hard," Reed said. "I'm very happy to have to him on my team! Sidney's good too. And he plays on the same side of the ball as me and we are going to use him because he's a great player. I love Harsch too. They're all real good, they are all hard workers, and they are all coming from the same class (2007)."
All three of those players were starters last season, which is surprising since Warren Harding rarely ever plays it's sophomores. The only recent players to see that much playing time as 10th graders were Maurice Clarett (Ohio State), Prescott Burgess (Michigan), Mike Phillips (Pittsburgh), and Mario Manningham (Michigan).
As for Reed, he will be playing along the offensive line to help ease the losses of offensive tackle Rocco Cironi who signed with Michigan State and tackle Dante Campbell who signed with Kent State. The senior to be will be counted on heavily as he will be a two way starter in the trenches. Playing on offense is nothing new to Reed, as he has seen time at both tight end and fullback in previous seasons. For a complete scouting report on Reed click here.
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Antonio Reed and all the upcoming talent at Warren Harding this fall when the Raiders hit the gridiron once again.