When the season began, Tariq Reid was a rumor, a guy who gained mored than 1,000 yards in each of his first two years of high school at Burton Atherton, a school not known for producing Division I football players.
Two weeks into the season, Reid has become a curiosity.
After his family moved to Davison in April, Reid has had a magnificent start to his junior year. Reid, 6 feet, 200 pounds, has run for 492 yards and 10 touchdowns in two lopsided victories.
So far, college coaches haven’t noticed.
“I’ve had a few letters,” he said, “but I haven’t had any serious recruiting looks.”
That will change as long as he continues playing like he has the first two weeks, especially his 309 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries last week against Mt. Pleasant, which has a tradition of playing good defense.
But there might not be many defenses that can corral Reid, especially when he is running behind a dominating offensive line.
“Honestly, our linemen opened up the holes so big, it was hard to miss,” Reid said. “It was very nice.”
An offensive line can open holes, but you need to get through them in a hurry, which is what Reid does. And then the magic happens.
While he has good speed, it is much more than just outrunning people. He makes excellent cuts that seem instinctive, but have more to do with his vision than anything else.
“When I’m running, I pay attention to detail with my eyes,” Reid said. “How do I describe it? Before a play even starts, I read the positions of the linebackers, their defensive line, just to see where I might need to run. As soon as the play starts, it’s kind of like it’s already happened. I already know where I need to go.”
And the good news is he showed improvement from Week 1 to Week 2.
“The major difference I needed to make was, when I watched film, I needed to occupy defenders more on fakes, fake runs,” Reid said. “And also I needed to keep my shoulders square to go vertical instead of east and west.”
Reid, who has a 3.78 grade-point average, describes himself as a quiet kid, which is a grand understatement. He doesn’t say a lot, even around friends.
“I don’t talk much,” he said. “I sit around. I’ll laugh. I’ll just be there. I’ll be present. I’m not talkative.”
But once the ball is kicked off, everything changes.
“On the field, it’s like I’m a different person,” he said. “I’m aggressive.”
When you are a quiet kid, it might be difficult fitting in at a different school. But that hasn’t happened for Reid.
“I love them,” he said. “We’re like a huge family. We bonded and spent so much time together. They were all so welcoming. The whole community is.”
Reid is hoping college coaches will be welcoming as well, but unlike some high school players, he is not fixated on his recruitment.
“That’s not a big worry to me right now,” he said. “I hope to get my name out there, and I hope we have a lot of team success. That could also help with the recruiting process.”
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.