David Reaves: Destined to Lead

In only his third year as a college coach and his first year as USC's recruiting coordinator, David Reaves led the effort that resulted in what has been touted as the best recruiting class in South Carolina history, a consensus Top 10 class nationally. But Reaves is no overnight success. GamecockAnthem sat down with his high school coach Jim Bonneville and learned more about this popular Gamecock.

Bonneville shared about when Reaves first came to Spring Valley High School in Columbia. "He came in as a transfer his junior year (when his father became an assistant coach at South Carolina) and took over as our starting quarterback." Bonneville said. "He was an excellent passer, and we even changed our offenses around because of his ability to throw the football."

One of the highest profile recruits that Reaves brought in was quarterback Stephen Garcia of Tampa. Many made comparisons between Garcia and former USC quarterback Steve Tanneyhill, because both had not only the physical tools to excel at quarterback, but also long flowing locks that made them instantly recognizable. They also are recognized for their natural leadership skills and their ability to rally the players around them to follow them. Overlooking the hair, perhaps the comparisons for Garcia should be between him and his quarterback coach for the next four years.

Bonneville said, "(Reaves) was also a great leader. For a quarterback, he was extremely strong and worked real hard in the weight room. He was a tough physical kid. He came in and all the kids immediately liked him and looked up to him because he was not afraid to stick it in there. He didn't consider himself a prima donna, he would go after it full speed ahead. Everybody absolutely loved him. For a quarterback they were willing to do anything they could for him." Much like his soon to be protégé Garcia was known for in high school.

When asked if he saw a future coach in the making back when he coached Reaves, Bonneville replied, "No doubt about it. David is one of the most personable guys I've ever met. Friendly, he can sit down and act like you've known him for years upon years."

Laughing, Bonneville continued, "I could see him being a great recruiter, I really can. You could talk to him for ten minutes and feel like you've known him for years. He was that same kind of guy when he came to Spring Valley. The kids took to him immediately, and the coaches enjoyed him as well. He could sit and talk football with (the coaches) even at that age.

"Of course his father John was a coach." Bonneville said. "There's something about coach's sons; they just have a presence about them where the game is concerned. They understand it, they understand what you're going through, and they're willing to work harder. They understand what is at stake."

Today Reaves is also the quarterback coach under Head Coach Steve Spurrier. Having just turned 28, Reaves still holds a number of passing records at Spring Valley, and recently was interviewed for a position with the NFL's Oakland Raiders. When the subject of future expectations for Reaves was raised, his old coach stated, "He could reach any goal he wanted to as far as the coaching profession is concerned." For now, Reaves recently stated that his goal right now is helping his protégés under center pursue an SEC championship at South Carolina.

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