There aren't many players having a better junior season than 2014 linebacker prospect Troy Reeder, who just picked up an offer from Maryland bringing his total to six.
The 6'3, 232 lbs. Delaware native has received offers from Pittsburgh, Virginia, Penn State, Delaware and Rutgers, but the young linebacker acknowledged that he had been anticipating an offer from the Terps.
I was looking forward to [a Maryland offer] for a while, they're in my backyard, great school, great academics, Reeder said. They were one of the first schools that actually came in and saw me, [Coach Lee Hull and I] have built a good relationship over a while, and they offered me a week ago.
Reeder's Salesianum High School team has enjoyed a successful season thus far, as they've suffered only one loss and are ranked number two in the state of Delaware. Reeder said that he has had to play a different role this season and be more of a leader on defense. He also had to play all over the field, including some snaps at safety or in man-to-man coverage, and he believes that experience is paying dividends in his improvement.
My versatility, Reeder said when asked to name his biggest strength. As a linebacker I've been put in some tough roles, covering the other team's best receivers; in state semis last year I was covering a receiver that's at NC State now, David Grinnage, and I covered him one-on-one. That separates me from a lot of other linebackers because with the way the game is changing it's important [to be able to cover].
While his coverage skills have improved his stock as a prospect, Reeder said that he continues to work on the smaller aspects of his game to prepare for his senior year and the college level.
I think I have most of the fundamentals down, Reeder said. I just want to refine them so every move and form becomes more natural; you can never be fast enough or strong enough, so I just want to continue to grow as an athlete.
Reeder has taken unofficial visits to Virginia, Penn State and Maryland, and said he may take one or two official visits in the winter. He said distance won't be that big of a factor in his college choice, as he mentioned that Stanford came to see him, so nothing's out of the question. However, he did acknowledge other factors he will be looking for as he weighs his college options.
Definitely want to go somewhere that I'll leave with a great education and have a good start in life, be prepared for the business world, Reeder said. On the field, I want to play big time football and for a good team.
Reeder also dished on what he likes about Maryland.
I'm pretty interested [in Maryland], really like the staff, facilities, it's close to home which my parents like, and they have a great business school which is what I'm trying to get into, Reeder said. Maryland is a program that I feel is going to be on a rise, [they have] a lot of young starters; all this experience for young players is going to pay off, [Coach Randy] Edsall is building a great program.
Some pundits have speculated as to whether Maryland's decision to move to the Big Ten Conference in 2014 would have an impact on recruiting, but for Reeder, the impact is minimal.
I don't think it really influences my decision, Reeder said of the move. I don't think it's a bad move; new competition, it's an exciting move for [Maryland]. Overall I think the ACC is still a good conference though, too.
It's still early in the recruiting process for Reeder, so the young linebacker said he doesn't have a top-five list yet. His recruitment is poised to keep heating up though, so if Maryland hopes to land him, they'll have to deal with plenty of competition.