Four carries, four total yards and no receptions to his credit in his career, but is Fred Reid nervous about trying to replace the Bulldog's leading rusher and receiver?

"I feel confident that I can go out there and make the play," Reid said of his opportunity against the No. 2 team in the nation. "I bring a different style to the game than Dicenzo. I am going to go out and try to make the most of this opportunity, and hope that Zo (Dicenzo) can get healthy."

A different style might be an understatement. At 5 foot 9 inches, 180 pounds, Reid comes in as the smallest running back on the Bulldog roster. To his advantage, however, he is also the fastest back.

"The last time I was timed they got me at 4.4," Reid said of his blazing 40 time. "Because of that I can do different things, but I have also had to learn some of the basics."

Rushing for 2,043 yards during his senior season at Tampa's King High School, Reid wasn't called on very often to be a blocker. But during his time at MSU he has had to learn the fine art of blocking.

"I have really watched Justin (Griffith) to learn how to block, he is amazing," Reid said of teammate Justin Griffith. "That is one of the things that coach Davis has really worked on with me. I really didn't know how to, but he has helped me."

Listed as one of the top running back/receivers coming out of high school, Reid was recruited by many of the top teams in the country. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Florida State just to name a few; but one place that never showed any interest in Reid was the University of Florida. And growing up just two hours from Gainesville, that didn't set well with him.

"I was really hurt while I was in high school because I never got anything from them," Reid said of his Gator snub. "I just want to go out this weekend and show Steve Spurrier what he missed out on."

Reid will definitely get his chance this weekend when the Bulldogs take to the road to play the Gators.

"We know that Fred will play a good bit this weekend," Bulldog head coach Jackie Sherrill said of Reid's playing time. "We aren't sure how much but we know that we will use him."

To get ready for this weekend, Reid has been listening to his speedy friend and roommate Ray Ray Bivines for advice.

"Ray Ray has really helped me to not get nervous," Reid said. "He really has helped me to understand what it takes to be ready on for the game. Now we will both get the chance to play."

Though he feels snubbed by Steve Spurrier and his staff, Reid also knows that choosing MSU was the right choice for this speedy running back. "MSU is a running team, and they have always been that way," Reid said of his decision to come to Starkville. "I know that I couldn't have made a better choice for me. The people, coaches, players and facilities are the best. I love it here."

This Saturday will be the first time that Reid will be at a game played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but this will also be the first time his family will be in attendance for a game during his Bulldog career.

"I am really excited about them being at the game. This will be the first time," Reid said. "I had to borrow other players family tickets. Eight of my family will be at the game."

The Bulldogs have always leaned heavily on the running attack, now the Bulldogs turn the ground game over to Fred Reid. And fans should know that Reid definitely has the potential to shine in the Sunshine State.

Grant Alford is a free-lance correspondent for Gene's Page. He is a student at Mississippi State University. You can contact him by email at hammer634@hotmail.com.

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