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Catching Up With Malik Reaves

Villanova defensive back, Malik Reaves recently spoke with Leader Johnson about the upcoming Wildcat football season and more. Leader shares the exclusive interview with VUSports ...

Malik Reaves is one of the most talented defensive backs in FCS football.  At 6-0, 200 pounds he is physical and can change the game by irritating the opposing offense and making you not even want to throw his way.  Villanova has a talented team this year and Reaves is one of the key playmakers … 

Leader Johnson: “Reaves Island” … how long has that name been attached to you at Villanova?

Malik Reaves: Ha Ha, since freshman year when the older guys first watched me playing press man. 

Leader Johnson: What do you love about Villanova?

Malik Reaves: How much of a brotherhood and family it is. We really all have each other's back through thick and thin and it shows on the field our trust we have. 

Leader Johnson: What do you love about the city of Philadelphia?

Malik Reaves: Everything, it's something new to explore every time.

Leader Johnson: You are the definition of a ball hawk.  What separates you from any other defensive back in the country - what makes you that guy?

Malik Reaves: I'm competitive as they come and physical as they come.  I'm in man coverage 80% of a game and I'm not afraid to press every snap unless it's a certain situation, down and distance.  I also love tackling.  I think I have the best tackling skills of any corner in the country at any level. 

Leader Johnson: Who in the NFL do you model your game after and who in the NFL do you think personifies a perfect corner and why?

Malik Reaves: I model my game after Xavier Rhodes.  I just think he's the most similar to me - that being: man coverage, size (both being 205 and above), tackling, and also his competitiveness.  The battle with him and OBJ showed it.  I think him and Aqib Talib describe a perfect corner. 

Leader Johnson: How does the Villanova defense for 2017 look as a whole?


Malik Reaves: The defense hasn't missed a beat.  Everyone is leading and everyone is full effort every play.  New Cornerbacks coach, Ola Adams, is like a guru for us.  I'm learning things I've never even thought to learn. He is definitely a perfect fit for me.

Leader Johnson: There is a lot of talent talent in Florida and you were one of the best coming out of there - how was it growing up in Florida describe Neptune Beach to people who don’t know it and how your parents were an influence in your life?

Malik Reaves:  Well, Neptune Beach is a pretty cool area.  School was 2 minutes away from the water and in Florida playing football it is a constant battle everyday.  Nobody wants to be out done.  My parents definitely are a huge influence on everything with football.  Never have not had my back.  I grew up middle school and high school with just my mom and she showed me all kinds of traits that can better me as a leader and man in general.  My dad was in Texas but still was there every step of the way.  He's a coach for me as well.  He can pick out any flaw I show and let me know how to improve it. 

Leader Johnson: How is Joe Trainer to you at leading the defense and how do feel about Mark Ferrante?

Malik Reaves: [Joe Trainer] He is a heck of a guy.  He trusts us to do things the right way.  It is trust we gained as a defense over time and he allows us to lead and coach each other.  Mark Ferrante is a great fit as well.  Great guy.

 

Leader Johnson: What were your numbers last season?

Malik Reaves: My numbers weren’t as big as previous years.  I played the entire season with a torn meniscus and also missed two games.  I think if someone was to breakdown passes attempted and caught on me they'll be able to so how much of a difference maker I can be.  I can take always the best wide receiver or half the field.  Whatever the coach wants.  I didn't get many passes thrown my way this year. 

Leader Johnson: How do you feel about this team as a whole this season with a great recruiting class and new coaching staff and how do you feel about the legendary Andy Talley is his presence still felt in this program?

Malik Reaves: Talley is a GOAT.  Best coach I've been with always calm and collected.  The new coaches are great fits as well and the team is back and hungrier than ever!

Leader Johnson: Thanks for the time. Malik.  Can't wait to see you play!

Malik Reaves:  Thank you.  Go ‘Nova! 


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