Reeder Ready for Next Step at PSU

Get the lowdown on the Delaware linebacker's pending arrival and his connection to the Lions' season-opener inside.

While Penn State's roster grew some Thursday, it won't completely fill out until a few days later.

The weekend marks the report date for the Nittany Lions Class of 2014 signees. Some will get into town early, but others, like Wilmington, Del., Salesianum linebacker Troy Reeder, will kick their preparation for the program's season opener in Dublin, Ireland into high gear Saturday.

"I know I'm not going to redshirt, but I know playing time-wise, that will be up to me," Reeder said. "I've been working really hard at studying the playbook I've received so far.

"Once I get up there, I will continue working even harder and work as hard as I can to get as much playing time as I can."

Reeder is working at just under 240 pounds with just over a month until preseason camp kicks off, and the linebacker said he settled there after experimenting with running and other football related movement when he was up around 242 pounds.

"For me, it just feels right," Reeder said. "I think in the long run, with my body and what I'll be able to carry, I'll be able to carry more weight than 240 pounds, maybe high 240s, over the next few years depending on what the coaches want me at.

"A lot of players can put on weight and retain speed, and they said I'll be playing in the middle, so I want to have enough strength and ball skills that I can take a hit and play hard in the middle but also keep getting faster in the process."

Titus Sports Academy has helped Reeder shape his body and quicken his feet throughout the spring, and with a hitting and running balance in mind, the linebacker feels he's achieved it.

How much so will not be known until he gets on campus, but it's important nonetheless, as he is expecting to be counted on right out of the gate after another Lion linebacker, Ben Kline, suffered an injury during workouts earlier this week.

"I was hoping that I would be relied on earlier — and it was really unfortunate what happened [to Kline] — but the good thing is I wasn't expecting to go up there and not be a part of this," Reeder said. "For me, I feel ready, and that doesn't change no matter who is in front of me.

"I got to know Ben pretty well. He was my host on my official visit, and I was sad to hear that happened."

Reeder has competed with fellow 2014 signee Jason Cabinda throughout the spring, and the two often send each other text messages regarding how much weight they've lifted and how fast they've run. The former said they have developed a bond through their work despite being miles apart.

It can be described as similar to the one he's built with linebackers coach Brent Pry, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and head coach James Franklin, even if he didn't commit to them originally.

Instead, it was former linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden that drew Reeder into the program and eventually grabbed his commitment. He's gone, but the linebacker quickly found plenty to like about the new staff, too.

"I think [I have a good relationship with] the whole staff as a whole, but those three are the main three I will be working with," Reeder said. "They were not hard to get used to, and they're all great people.

"I know they're a great coaching staff, and I got to know Coach Pry's daughters and wife at the spring game. It's a growing relationship."

Two months separate Reeder and his new teammates from Ireland, which will be a homecoming of sorts for the linebacker. He has "a little bit" of an Irish background, he said, and his mother will be making the trip to Dublin to take in the country and her son's first game.

Neither is quite sure what to expect come Aug. 30, but both are ready for it.

"It's going to be really cool and something to look back on and say, ‘We were that team that played in Ireland,' " Reeder said.

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