J.R. Reed may be an unranked defensive back right now, but he's slowly but surely gaining some major interest on the recruiting trail because of his NFL pedigree.
Legacy and pedigree recruits have been a big topic so far in 2014, and while bloodline doesn't always guarantee the success of a recruit, it sure gives said recruit a ton of potential in the eyes of coaches and scouts.
Reed is the son of former NFL star Jake Reed, who played 12 seasons in the NFL, mostly for the Minnesota Vikings. As a wideout, he notched 450 receptions, 6,999 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Though his father was a standout wide receiver, J.R. is focusing on playing defensive back, according to Damon Sayles of ESPN.com:
Of all the lessons Reed has learned from his father, one has stood out the most: Be the best J.R. possible. That’s one of the reasons why Reed, at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, is lining up in the secondary rather than working at receiver – even though Reed played some receiver during the 2012 season.
“I play both for my school. My primary [position] is DB, though,” Reed said of playing both sides of the ball. “My dad is actually the one that told me I’m better at DB than receiver.”
Sayles goes on to report that Reed is starting to pick up some momentum on the recruiting trail:
UNLV was the first to notice Reed’s talent, as the Rebels offered him a scholarship in September. Schools such as Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Georgia Tech, Rice and North Texas have expressed recent interest. Reed also said he’s received a lot of correspondence from the schools in the Big Ten.
As of right now, UNLV is Reed's only offer, but if he continues to trend, expect that to change sooner rather than later.
It's also worth noting that Reed's uncle is Dale Carter, who was a first-round NFL draft pick (1992, Pick 20, Kansas City Chiefs) and a four-time Pro Bowl selection. Carter played 14 seasons in the NFL.
Potential is the key word to focus on in regards to Reed, and it's that potential that will garner him more offers as this recruiting cycle moves on. He's obviously athletic, considering the fact that he can play wideout, cornerback or safety.
You can teach a lot of things in the game of football, but speed, height and pure athleticism are generally things that either you have or you don't.
A coach can take an extremely athletic player, work on his fundamentals, skill set and game IQ and turn him into a star. The same can't be said the opposite way around. Hustle and role players are always needed, but nothing replaces pure skill and athleticism.
At 6'1'', 175 pounds, Reed displays good size. He's reportedly athletic enough to play three positions, and he has NFL talent in his bloodline.
There's a lot to like in that equation if you're a college football coach looking for a sleeper on the recruiting trail.
Reed is gaining momentum, and that will only continue to grow as more schools find him on their radar.