Practice Tour: Kevin Reddick

NEW BERN, N.C. --- In its attempt to return to the NCHSAA 4A state title game after a year hiatus, New Bern will rely heavily on the leadership and ability of star linebacker Kevin Reddick.

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    "He's a leader," said Curlings. "He's not just a verbal leader. When we run sprints, he's the first one. When it's time to go drill-to-drill, he's the first one. He's the first one to pat someone on the back when they do something good and he's the first one get in someone's face and get them right if they're not on the same page."

    On the field, Reddick, a 6-foot-2 210-pounder, will pilot the defense from his middle linebacker position.

    "I'm in the middle and will be counted on to go sideline-to-sideline," said Reddick. "I'm just going to be reading plays. I make all of the calls [on defense] – except in the secondary."

    Reddick will also see some reps on offense.

    "We're going to try to work as many young guys as we can at fullback so that [Reddick] doesn't have to play offense," said Curlings. "Certainly, close games, short yardage [and] goal line, he's going to be in at fullback. We have a quarterback that's good at reading the option to go along with him. Our triple option looks real good when [Reddick is] playing fullback. Plus, goal line situations, we put him at powerback and he just clears the way."

    Reddick is confident that New Bern can not only return to the title game, but also bring home the school's first championship in football.

    "I'm trying to go 16-0 – we want the State [Championship] bad," said Reddick. "We're just going to go at that hard. I feel 100-percent sure we'll do that – that's how I feel. We're going to go get it."

    Curlings has given the team some early season challenges to help prepare for a title run.

    "We've scheduled tougher non-conference opponents to try to get us ready for conference play," the coach said. "We got a lot of seniors with a lot of potential; we've just got to get it out of them. We got what it takes to achieve the goals that we've set; we just got to get everybody on the same page."

    New Bern has added Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard and traditional state power Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond Senior to their non-conference slate. Combined, those two schools have only lost five games in two years.

    Since the spring, not much has changed in Reddick's recruitment.

    "I've got the same offers, I'm just waiting to figure out the right school right now," said Reddick. "I haven't taken any visits this summer. I'll probably just wait until Signing Day to tell everyone where I'm going."

    This fall, Reddick will resume unofficial visits by attending a few college games. While he hasn't set any plans, he figures to include trips to both East Carolina and North Carolina among his travels.

    Reddick admitted that he's still leaning towards UNC, but two other schools are still very much in the picture.

    "[UNC] and ECU and Florida, right now," said Reddick. "Basically, I just like [North] Carolina because it's where I can get a good education and play at; and the same for ECU. Both are good programs and all that.

    "[Florida] is just somewhere I've been wanting to go. I don't know that much about it. It's just some place I've wanted to go since I was a kid."

    UNC and ECU have offered a scholarship, while Reddick has heard Florida is close to extending an offer of its own. He has also collected offers from Alabama, NC State, and South Carolina.

    Before the text message block by the NCAA went into effect on Aug. 1, Reddick would receive regular text messages from UNC. Now, he said communication with the staff is limited to when his father calls Tommy Thigpen, UNC's linebacker coach, or Charlie Williams, Reddick's primary recruiter.

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