The linebackers on the Cleveland team, Steven Robertson (Houston commit) and Marcus Mallett (22-3A MVP as a junior in 2008), get the majority of the attention, but a terrific sophomore class is the strength of the 3A program that sits roughly an hour northeast of Houston.
The leader of the talented sophomore class is also the top college prospect in the program. Defensive end/tight end Cedric Reed was thrown into the fire as a freshman starting all eleven games for Coach Tullos earning second team all-district honors.
The 6-5, 235-pound two-way star took his game to another level earning unanimous first team all-district at defensive end and tight end. While his numbers weren't eye popping on offense as the Indians run the Slot-T, his 10 sacks and numerous other hurries caught the attention of every team Cleveland played.
Head coach Ricky Tullos said on Wednesday at Cleveland High that Reed is right where they expected him to be as a sophomore.
"Cedric is right where I thought he would be and where everyone else thinks he is going to be," Tullos said. "He had a great year, unanimous first team all-district on both sides of the ball for us. He continues to get bigger and stronger. He is slenderer than his freshman year. He also lost some of his younger weight, started growing up into a young man and looks really good. He probably weighs 230 and is 6-5. He's a little faster and you can tell he's growing up into a young man. We look for big things from him the next two years," added Tullos.
A few minutes before basketball practice, Reed took the time to speak with Burnt Orange Beat about his season and recruitment. Reed says he thought the 2008 season went great.
"I think I had a pretty good season. I'm receiving a lot of recruiting interest. We made it to the second round of the playoffs and got to play a playoff game at Texas A&M," said Reed.
Chances are very good that Reed will be recruited as a defensive end by every program that comes through Cleveland. The two-sport star says he's not sure which position he prefers at this point.
"I like both of them the same pretty much. I don't know if I like one better than the other right now. By my senior year, I'm pretty sure I'll figure it out," Reed said.
On the recruiting front, Reed has already attracted Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor and Houston to Cleveland to take a look at the rising star. Reed says he likes all five of the programs and plans to take in some camps this summer.
"I know Texas A&M, Texas, OU, Baylor and Houston have been by. That's pretty much it right now. I plan on going to check them out at camps this summer. I didn't really have a favorite school growing up. I do like A&M, Texas and OU. I went to go see A&M play Oklahoma and Texas Tech this year. I've been to about five A&M games since they are the closest to me," Reed said.
Reed, whose father played football and basketball at Prairie View A&M, is currently tearing it up on the hardwood for one the favorites to win 3A region III.
"I'm averaging about 20 points I read in the paper this morning and eight rebounds per game," Reed said.
Joining Reed in the ultra talented sophomore class is 6-2, 200-pound quarterback Earnest Carrington (second team all-district), 6-1, 170-pound corner Jaraud Ross (first team all-district with five INT's) and twin brother Jamal Ross (6-1, 170) at the opposite corner.