Shanon Reid admits he’s always been a little impatient.
Since his freshman season at Dunbar High he waited for his time. He wondered when he would blow up on the recruiting scene. When would his name be followed by a few gold stars on recruiting websites? When would he finally be considered one of the most feared linebackers in the state?
It took the magic touch of Reid’s mother to calm him down. Lindell Anderson urged him not to rush the process. His time would come if he put in the work.
Reid’s time is now.
A consensus four-star recruit, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound outside linebacker is coming off a productive junior season that netted him a host of scholarship offers from Power 5 schools. Reid checks in at No. 3 in The News-Press and Naples Daily News’ Big 15, a ranking of the top recruits in Southwest Florida.
And, of course, Anderson also had some advice for her son for this very moment.
“Don’t let it get to your head,” Anderson said. “You’re still the same person.”
Three years of waiting only to realize all of the gold stars and press clips mean little.
“Some kids with the stars, they need to not worry about all that,” Reid said. “(Recruiting) services are just making their money off all that. I don’t care if I’ve got stars or not. I’m my own person. When you get to the school there’s four or five star players everywhere.”
Reid’s main focus is building on a season where he was a key part of one of the area’s best defenses, racking up 95 tackles (eight for a loss), two sacks and four interceptions. The Tigers went 9-3 and reached a regional final.
He believes a trip to state isn’t out of the question.
“We’re good enough,” Reid said.
Originally a defensive end in Pop Warner, Reid transitioned to linebacker on the advice of then-defensive coordinator Sammy Brown, who was promoted to head coach in the spring.
“I told him he was going to be a fine defensive end in high school, but a big-time linebacker in high school,” Brown said. “He bought in.”
Growing up with former Dunbar linebacker Jailyn Mays and learning a great deal from Old Dominion-bound linebacker Zach Lackman last season, Reid’s lone goal is to take an opportunity to leave his neighborhood and play the game he loves.
“I hear so many stories from older adults saying how they wished they could have done this and done that,” Reid said. “They tell me every time don’t do what they did and I feed off that.
“ … I want to be someone who said I did this and did that.”
With 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed, a love of hitting and great instincts in pass coverage, Reid is the type of player colleges who play in 4-2-5 defenses covet for the Spur position. Right now, he has offers from teams like Mississippi State, Michigan and Rutgers.
Programs like Tennessee, North Carolina State, Colorado and Miami are also hot on his trail.
Reid estimates he’s called out of class five times a day to field phone calls from coaches.
“You can’t tell he’s a national recruit, though,” Brown said. “He walks around during practice as just an average player. We spare no one on the team. There is no special treatment and he knows that.”
Reid plans to verbally commit to a program sometime during the season with hopes to enroll early. He said he’s not concerned with the name recognition of a program or how many conference or national titles they own.
His goal is to play early and make an impact.
“I want to be that spark for my team,” Reid said. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for that.”
The Big 15
The News-Press and Naples Daily News will be counting down the top football recruits in Southwest Florida every Tuesday and Friday until the start of the high school football season. The Big 15 features players going into their junior and senior years from Lee and Collier counties, with respect paid to those with hard scholarship offers and those without who possess great potential.
The Next 15
18. Rocky Jacques-Louis, Dunbar, DE: The brother of No. 5 in the Big 15 Shocky Jacques-Louis, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder also has an offer from North Carolina.