SEC program making Reavis feel wanted

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Exiting here. Touring there. Chatting with college coaches all along the coast. C.J. Reavis is doing everything necessary to educate himself with the recruiting process before making a pledge to a college coaching staff.

A relationship with his future coaches and the cozy feeling of a college campus are what's going to raise the eyebrows of one of the Mid-Atlantic's top defensive backs.

"Feeling really wanted by the coaching staff and also that home environment. If I get that feeling then I will know that's where I need to go," he told FOX Sports NEXT.

Reavis got his scholarship offer from Tennessee back on March 8. It sounds like the Volunteers are doing what it takes to get a signed letter of intent.

"Yeah, I felt very wanted," said Reavis, who was making his first visit to Knoxville. "They all talked to me. I sat in coach (Butch) Jones' office and that's when he offered me.

"I hoped I would get (the scholarship offer), but I wasn't too sure. When I got it, I was really excited."

The people that make up Big Orange Country left an impression on the 6-foot-1, 202-pound safety that tripped with family members early last month.

"The fans were great. The fans knew who I was already. It was just real crazy. It was a real fun environment," he told InsideTennessee.

Later that day, Vanderbilt pulled the trigger.

"It was exciting actually getting my first SEC offer and then my second SEC offer," Reavis said.

The opportunity to play in the Southeastern Conference is not something the FOX Sports NEXT three-star takes lightly.

Former Tennessee All-American and current Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry (pictured) is a player Reavis admires.
(Getty Images)
"I heard that there are two conferences for football — the ACC and the SEC," Reavis said. "Basically, that's the next level from the NFL, and I think getting to that level would mean something."

Defensive backs coach Willie Martinez would be Reavis' position coach if he signed with Tennessee.

"He's a great guy and obviously a great coach," Reavis said of the former Georgia defensive coordinator. "He coached at Oklahoma. He knows what he's doing, and he's very technique-oriented. Technique makes you a better player."

The facilities on Rocky Top tend to stick out to all visitors.

"They were new and bigger, and I liked that," Reavis said. "There was a lot of construction on campus, which means they're improving things. I like that too. It was a nice, big campus. That's kind of what I expected anyway."

Tennessee was offer No. 13. Since then, also hopping on board have been Connecticut, Nebraska, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

When asked about NFL players he attempts to pattern his game after, a former Vol's name popped up.

"I look up to Ed Reed, Darrelle Revis and Eric Berry," the Orange & White target said.

In 2012, Reavis contributed to the Thomas Dale (Va.) High School defense by racking up 101 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles. The rising senior believes he can play both the free safety and strong safety spots in college.

"I can come down and make a hit, but I can also play the ball in the air too. So, I just feel like I can play wherever anybody needs me."

He also plays some wide receiver on the prep level, which helps him from the neck-up as a DB.

"It gives you tendencies of what people want to do coming in and out of their breaks," Reavis said. "I've been told that a good defensive back always knows what the other kid is doing 10 steps into their route. So, basically just having instincts of knowing whether they're going to run or not."

Reavis, who plans on returning to Knoxville this summer, said he is going to try to make a verbal commitment before his 2013 season. If he can't come to a decision by then, he is going to wait until after his senior season is complete.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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