Warren Reuland is not his brother. A quick look at his 6'5 size will draw many first-time observers to compare him with Notre Dame tight end Konrad Reuland, but the Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School junior has a different build, athleticism and vision for his future.
"I'm going to be playing wide receiver," the younger Reuland says. "I'm longer and lankier. I think I'm a little bit quicker. I can jump pretty well. I had my vertical tested as a freshman, actually, at a basketball camp: 39 inches."
"I'm a red zone threat. I can be a deep ball threat, but I can also be a possession receiver," the 2008 recruit continues. "The best thing is my hands. I catch everything thrown my way. I pride myself on my hands. Being so big and athletic, I can jump up and get the ball in the endzone over little DBs."
Watching highlights from Reuland's junior season reveals the versatility of his receiving abilities. He stretches the field; he catches the short ball underneath and fights upfield; and he is a jump ball target in the endzone.
Like his brother, Reuland derives his great body positioning, leaping ability and knack for corralling contested balls from his basketball background. He also runs track in the spring, recording PRs last year as a sophomore of 6'8" in the high jump and 21' in the long jump.
"It's not something I look to do in the future," the three-sport athlete says of his track career. "It's more of a fun thing for me, with my friends and a chance to compete again."
Reuland is doubtful on running track this spring, instead focused on rehabilitation and training following a November ACL tear that cut short a strong season. He had 34 catches for 610 yards (17.9 avg) and 10 touchdowns. He opened the season with 108 yards and two touchdowns, and against powerhouse De La Salle he caught 11 balls for 124 yards and two scores.
Though he has not been tested in the 40, Reuland is focused this off-season on improving his speed as well as his strength. He played this fall between 190 and 195 pounds, now at 205 and near where he would like to play as a senior at Mission Viejo.
"We do resistance training," he adds. "Working on my leg strength will help me get faster. Plyometric work will get me quicker and help me with my feet, too."
One area where Reuland needs little training is in recruiting. He and his family were part of the process two years ago, when schools from coast to coast pursued his brother.
"I paid really close attention to it. It was really interesting," says the younger Reuland. "I wanted to get a feel for it before it happened to me. I went on the trips with him to Notre Dame and Ohio State. I had a lot of fun at both of those. It was really cool to be able to see everything, and just to do that stuff early and get exposed to that before it happens to me."
Is there anybody on that list that qualifies as a dream school for the Orange County wideout?
"There's a whole lot of them," he laughs. "Ohio State - I followed them a lot when I was younger. Stanford - I followed their basketball team a lot, and then football, too. USC. And I have followed Notre Dame a lot, too. I just like watching everyone."
The first of what will assuredly be numerous scholarship offers hit the beginning of February, when Stanford and head coach Jim Harbaugh took the plunge.
"They're not allowed to contact us, so he texted me and I called him back," Reuland remembers. "He said that they basically wanted to give me a scholarship to play at Stanford. It was really exciting because it was my first offer. It was really cool."
"We didn't talk very much because they were working out. I think the team was running," he adds. "He just said that he knows I'm a red zone threat, and that's the kind of receiver they want. He offered me and said he would love for me to come be a Cardinal."
Stanford appears in Reuland's (still lengthy) list of college favorites today, but one might surmise that the Cardinal jumped into his consciousness only after they tendered his first scholarship offer.
"No, I liked them before that, too. I really liked them. I have liked them since I was growing up," he maintains. "They have really good academics and everything, so I really like the school."
Other offers could be soon to follow, given the level of interest Reuland is receiving from other schools.
"I'm getting a lot of attention from Notre Dame and UCLA right now. And USC," he says. "I went to the Junior Day at UCLA, and it was really nice up there. I went to one of USC's practices and saw all of that stuff. I'm going to Notre Dame's Junior Day on March 4. Those three are showing a lot of interest."
The Irish have to be considered a dangerous player in this recruitment, with Reuland's brother already in South Bend. Would they be the prohibitive favorite if and when they offer?
"Not really," Reuland says. "I don't have to play with him. It could be nice, but that's not my first option. I don't need to play with him. I want to go where's best for me - where I fit in the best.""
And just what does Reuland feel will be best for him in a school?
"I would like to know when I will play," he says. "I don't necessarily need to play early, but how much I will play. The academics are going to be a big part of that. And what's best for me and my family."
Reuland does admit that the warm weather and proximity of the L.A. schools could make them tough to beat.
"I would definitely think about it," he comments on the subject of USC and UCLA offers. "It's really nice out here, and being close to home would be nice, too. That's not the only thing that matters to me - being close to home. I lived in Germany for a year and know what it's like to be away. I would just have to see how everything is falling into place when I'm about to get into college."
When it comes to the Cardinal's recruitment of Reuland, there is a more pressing factor than the Irish, Trojans or Bruins. Both Stanford and the Reuland family remember how their connection was shattered two years ago. Konrad Reuland had heavy interest in The Farm until his admissions application was not accepted, terminating the process and opportunity. His younger brother has learned from that experience and has himself ready for the challenge of Stanford Admissions.
"I am trying to get all of the credits I need for math and history," he explains. "I think that's part of what problem my brother had. I already have all my math and going to do my history next year fine. I had a 4.4 GPA last semester, so that's pretty good. Overall I have about a 4.2. I'm taking precalculus honors, physics, German IV AP, English III and U.S. history. I'm taking the SAT on March 10. I want to get about a 2000."
Though he is not yet through with February, Reuland already has a mature focus in his recruitment and understanding of both the process and suitors. He will be able to make his college decision long before Signing Day, though he is not in a hurry.
"I'll probably take it to the end of the summer because I want to know as much as I can about the schools before I actually commit to them," he forecasts. "I'm hoping at the end of the summer to know where I'll be going, if I talk to all the schools by then, have more offers, have a good feel for everything and take some trips."
Those trips will include at least one to Palo Alto. "I'm going to go up for a spring practice pretty soon in April - I know that," he shares. "I was up there when I was younger, but I don't remember it all too well."
Warren Reuland will remember well the next few months, which will bring much attention and stress but also a fantastic experience.
"I'm excited," he says. "This is a once in a lifetime kind of thing. It's fun being able to talk to all of the coaches. The whole process has so far been really exciting for me."
And it has only just begun. Stay tuned for more on Reuland's story as it evolves in the coming months, with offers, visits and decisions among his college suitors.
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