Reeder Ready for Title Run, Visit

Penn State's Class of 2014 linebacker commit eyes December official. In the meantime, he is focused on leading his team deep into the Delaware state playoffs.

In 2012, Salesianum School (Wilmington, Del.) needed Troy Reeder to do a little bit of everything. So he played middle linebacker and just about everywhere else on defense.

This year, that isn't the case for the Penn State verbal and his team.

The Delaware power program is 7-1 through eight contests, two of which were out of state, and is surrendering just 13 points per game. Its success can be chalked up to any number of things. A win at Steubenville (Ohio) and a loss to Poly Prep Country Day (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has prepared the Sallies for their in-state schedule. Reeder admits not all competition his program faces is of the best quality, though to be sure, some is. And an offense that scores 33 points per game hasn't hurt.

But perhaps more than anything, Reeder coming into his own at middle linebacker has been a key. No longer must he moonlight at an outside spot or bump up to the defensive line or back to safety. Now, he can call the plays, get comfortable in the position he will play in college, and be a force consistently at the same spot.

"Last year, I played all over, and that was a pretty fun year. Interesting, but fun," Reeder said. "This year, they moved me into the middle. It's a lot of weight on my shoulders being right there in the middle (all of the time) for the first time, but I love it so far."

PSU's Class of 2014 may not have evident recruiters like tight end Adam Breneman and quarterback Christian Hackenberg were last year. But rest assured, Reeder and others are doing their best to convince others to join them.

The linebacker doesn't try to push the program on anyone. After all, he said, it's their decision. However, there's nothing wrong with a friendly reminder.

"I said when I committed that I wanted to help bring more and more kids in," Reeder said. "What's great is that it's not just me. I do play a role, but there are so many guys that have assumed roles like that. They're out there on Twitter, Facebook and texting kids to see how they feel.

"We're all recruiters now," he continued. "We all want to play with the best players and the best group of kids. So far, we are doing that; there are a lot of great kids that want to play with other great kids, and all 15 (verbals) are all trying to do their part to make it great."

Lions' linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden chats with Reeder once a week or so, still offering the same friendly advice and heartfelt conversation that drew the linebacker to commit to PSU in February. The PSU staff would like the 230-pound Reeder to trim down to about 225 before he arrives in Happy Valley.

But that's still off in the distance. A showdown with Middletown (Del.) WR and fellow PSU commit Chris Godwin looms to conclude Salesianum's regular season. They are considered the top two programs in the state.

"It's always a lot of fun to have the two best teams in the state go at it," Reeder said. "We're a small state, but we do have some pretty highly recruited prospects.

"We have two Division I players and they have two Division I players. We've had some pretty heated games, so it should be two good teams going at it."

December 6-8 marks a big official visit weekend at Penn State this year. Reeder says he will try to make it up for the Nov. 23 tilt with Nebraska, but will certainly be on campus to take his official in early December.

He wasn't willing to forecast any potential commits on that weekend. It's too far away for that. He can already see the bonding that will take place, however, as he and his classmates come one step closer to donning blue and white.

"At some point, we are going to be together without the coaches, or parents, and all of us will be together, maybe with some of the current players," Reeder said. "That's when most of the bonding is done. We'll get our first little experience of what college is like, what we'll have for the next four or five years.

"We're all going to be a family together, and it will be nice to start things a little."

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