Wednesday, February 1, 2012
CM's Reeves: 'It's going to be fun, I can't wait'
By Brendan Hall
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Just days after pledging a verbal commitment to Ohio State, Catholic Memorial athlete Armani Reeves signed a National Letter of Intent to the Buckeyes this morning in a ceremony on the school's campus. Reeves was joined by the Knights' other signees, linebacker Cam Williams (Ohio State), quarterback A.J. Doyle (UMass) and defensive back Donovan Henry (Northeastern track and field).
Reeves has not spoken publicly about his commitment since announcing his plans to sign with Ohio State on his Twitter account Sunday night. This morning, he broke his silence to several local reporters on hand at the ceremony.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Easton native, is the state's No. 1 overall prospect. He was also named ESPN Boston's Offensive Player of the Year this past season, and is a two-time selection to ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team. He initially committed to Penn State last August, but opened things up again following a highly-publicized scandal with the Nittany Lions' coaching staff.
Reeves spoke with ESPNBoston.com one-on-one following his signing.
On the deciding factors in his decision: "Ohio State, you know, they're a great University, and it fit me academically with what I wanted to do with computer science, computer graphics. I know coach [Everett] Withers for about four years, because he coached down at North Carolina with Brennan [former CM lineman and UNC tackle Brennan Williams], so I had a good relationship with him already. That was just...God blessed me with him being my coach, and knowing him already, I was happy about that. And just playing for Urban Meyer, being part of a great university, playing in front of 105,000 people every week, it's just going to be fun. I can't wait."
On choosing the Buckeyes over Michigan and Penn State: "It was really tough, because I did love Penn State, and I really loved Michigan as well. When it came down to Ohio State and Michigan, it was really tough because they're both great schools. There really wasn't much to differentiate, so it was really hard. But I had so many friends, so many guys that I met through the recruiting process that I had a good relationship with at Ohio State, that I think at the end of the day, because everything was so [similar], that just made the difference.
"All the comfort level was there, and getting to compete early, that was there. So, it was just a really good fit for me, and I feel like I'm going to do really well there."
On the difficulty of balancing the recruiting process with basketball season: "Yeah, it was definitely hard because I wasn't expecting to do this. I was expecting to be done with it, and focus on basketball season. But with everything that just happened, it really punched everything up. And in a three-week, four-week span, I had to get in everything.
It was tough, and then I had finals at school, so that just made everything tougher. It was a stressful couple of weeks, but I'm glad it's over. I can't wait to be a Buckeye and win some games."
On the perception from some that he is merely following Williams: "People are going to say things that they feel, but like I said, I made the decision that's best for me, and Cam made the decision that's best for him. It just happened that he committed earlier than I did. I like to take my time and look at everything, see how it goes for each school. It just ended up being that way. There's really nothing else to say. I picked the school for me, just like he picked the school for him."
What the coaching staff anticipates his role being next fall: "I'll definitely be competing for a job either at starter or nickelback, and then on special teams -- kick returner, punt returner -- right off the bat. They're not going to redshirt me. They're going to use me as much as they can, get me involved. Hopefully, you know, mentally I'll be prepared enough to play a lot and do everything I can do help the team win."
What he'll be doing between now and the day he reports to camp (June 17): "They're going to send workouts to our trainer (Brian McDonough), and from there, after basketball season I'll get right to work lifting and running and getting prepared so that when I get there in the summer, I'm in shape already. That will probably help me on the physical standpoint, but on the mental standpoint I just want to make sure I know the playbook and get ready to do everything I can to win."
Has he gotten any of the playbook yet? "Not yet. He threw in a couple stuff this morning...just a couple coverages, stuff I need to work on, and then just little things. But it's going to make a difference, such a great experience with what coach Withers is. He's a great coach."
On playing college football with his best friend Williams: "It's definitely a treat, you know. Not many people can go through this process with someone, let alone the same school. So, it's definitely a blessing to be able to go through this process and fill the same things, go through the same things we both went through, especially at Penn State with everything that happened there -- it's unfortunate, but we had each other, and we could fall back on each other. That was really helpful.
"The fact that we're going to Ohio State and going through this college experience together, it's another blessing that we have. It's really going to help us in the long run to feel comfortable, and do everything the school has to offer for us."
On his "rat tail" hair patch, which he's kept on the back of his head throughout his youth: "My mom gave it to me when I was younger. She always wanted me to be my own self, be an individual, so that's why I have it. Different than everybody else."