"We're probably going to have him rest it [the knee injury] until the playoffs," said Westlake head football coach Dom Zaccarelli. "He's doing good. It's nothing serious."
While beating their opponents by a combined score of 261-55 including two shutouts, Westlake stands with an 8-0 record. Even without Reed, Westlake should head into the playoffs with an undefeated record as both Lusby Patuxent (4-4) and Waldorf Stone (5-3) seem inferior to Westlake, which boasts three Division I-A recruits.
As expected, Reed's senior season success has only increased his recruiting stock. Schools like Illinois, Marshall, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse have inquired about Reed's commitment status, though Zaccarelli confirms he's "absolutely" firm in his verbal to the Tar Heels.
Reed's recruiting coordinator at UNC, Tommy Thigpen, is in constant contact with him, and also maintains a solid communication line with Coach Zaccarelli.
"He can play multiple positions, but they're going to give him an opportunity at running back," said Zaccarelli. "You are going to do what you have to do to put the best team on the field. So if he's the best running back, then he'll receive that opportunity. If he can contribute as a defensive back, then they're going to talk to him about making a move."
The structure of Westlake High School's academic year – the lack of block scheduling – won't allow Reed the opportunity to graduate in December, but the speedy tailback will definitely receive the chance to see the field as a true freshman.
"I think he'll receive an opportunity [to play as a freshman]," said Zaccarelli. "We talked about how he'll receive an opportunity to play right away; it all depends on how he practices. He has intentions of coming down to take summer classes and working out with the team as soon as his senior season is over here."
Regardless, whenever Reed suits up in Carolina blue, the Tar Heels will be fielding a very complete tailback, who has the ability to combine power along with his 4.45-forty speed.
"With Aaris they're getting a good student, who has explosive speed," said Zaccarelli. "Looking at him, you think he's all speed. He can accelerate and run away from you, but at the same time he can hit it and move the pile. He's got real good vision inside and he gets to top speed very quickly."
According to Zaccarelli, Reed will only take one official visit – to Chapel Hill. Unofficially, Reed has attended a couple of UNC home games already including the season opener against Wisconsin.