Reed Hoping To Inspire Others

Ohio State verbal commitment Verlon Reed had plenty of reasons to be excited about joining the team's class of 2010, but chief among the ones he listed had little to do with personal glory. Find out what the Columbus native thought about his decision and what position he will start out playing when he gets to campus.

Verlon Reed feels there is more at stake than just a football career for him.

A three-star safety prospect from Columbus Marion-Franklin, the 6-2, 185-pound Reed landed a scholarship offer from Ohio State in early December and accepted it less than two weeks later. But while that was the realization of a life-long dream for the Buckeye fan, Reed said he knows that the opportunity will impact more than just himself.

"It means everything because it's not only just for me," he told "It lets everybody who I grew up with know that there is a chance. You don't have to take a certain path. There are certain ways you can do things without having to get in trouble or get in trouble with the law.

"That's a big deal for me. I can physically represent for the young men in this city and let them know if you the right things that good things will happen for you."

This good thing for Reed was a long time in the making. After camping at OSU before his junior season, Reed said he remained on the team's radar but essentially simply received recruiting letters in the mail.

Things did not pick up until December. On the eve of an official visit to see the University of Toledo, the Buckeye coaches visited Reed at his high school. When he returned Dec. 6, he learned that they had offered him a scholarship.

Reed nearly committed on the spot but instead held off long enough to take an official visit during the weekend of Dec. 12.

"I had to make sure they were everything I expected," he said. "I didn't want to suddenly commit there and than it's not what I expected. I had to make sure that everything was right with me and my family and then I made my decision."

Reed's host was fellow central Ohio product Jamie Wood, who hails from Pickerington Central. The two were already familiar with one another after having worked with the same speed trainer.

"It was great," Reed said of the visit. "I hung out with the players and the coaches and watched practice. They fed us a lot. It was a great experience. The coaches were very cool. They treated us very well when we were up there."

As for why it took OSU this long to offer him a scholarship, Reed said he didn't know.

"(I guess) just to see how everything panned out and to see what their needs would be," he said. "Obviously I have something that they can see can help them."

Had he not landed an offer from the Buckeyes, Reed said both Michigan and Michigan State told him they would eventually do so.

His acceptance of the scholarship offer was contingent on at least one factor. A two-way player in high school, Reed has his eyes set on playing quarterback in college and both Toledo and Bowling Green were recruiting him as such.

Even though they already have a commitment from a three-star quarterback for their class of 2010, the Buckeyes agreed.

"I told (OSU) that playing quarterback is very important to me so they said they will give me a legitimate shot at playing quarterback," he said. "I'm fine with that, and if that doesn't work out then I'll just move my position elsewhere. I want to help the team. If quarterback doesn't work out I'm not going to keep pushing it."

As a senior, Reed said he threw for around 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for around 1,300 yards and 18 more scores. He described himself as a quarterback who played defense when his team needed him to do so.

Reed said he knows there remains work to be done. With a self-reported grade-point average of 2.5 and an ACT score of 17, Reed said he will keep taking the ACT with the hopes of scoring a 21 or 22 to ensure there will be no problems with his enrollment.

"I still have to stay level-headed because it's just the beginning of more hard work and more dedication and more things to come," he said. "I can't just kick everything to the side. I've still got to work hard at school and keep my grades up and everything. I'm not too worried about all the attention I'm getting because it's not going to get me anywhere. I've still got to do what I have to do."

And if he does, Reed said he knows what sort of reward is waiting for him at the next level.

"That's what I really wanted, from being born out here and being a Buckeye fan my whole life," he said. "That's all I really wanted and it's a huge opportunity for me."

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