Florida is one of the most talent rich football states in the country. This year alone, the state has more high school players in ESPN’s top 300 ranking (39) than any other state in the country. The “big three” schools cherry pick from the most talented throughout the state, yet some players fly under the radar and wind up going out of state to play football and attend school.
While some players aren’t talented enough to play at Florida, Florida State or Miami, others get over looked for other reasons.
Toledo senior wide receiver Bernard Reedy falls into that second category. Reedy is fast, agile, athletic and a versatile weapon for the Rockets but stands at just 5’9” 175-pounds. Reedy was listed at 5’8” 165-pounds coming out of Lakewood Senior High School in St. Petersburg, Florida (home of Dante Fowler Jr.) and didn’t get offers from any of the big three in-state schools.
He chose to take his talents to Toledo, where he’s started 30 games, caught 133 passes for almost 2,000 yards and scored 15 touchdowns — and that’s just as a receiver. Reedy does much more than just catch passes for the Rockets, he also returns kicks, punts and moonlights at running back.
“Bernard Reedy is a phenomenal player on our team,” Starting quarterback Terrance Owens told Gator Country. “He brings the best out of every body and he wants to win. I like a guy that wants to win like he does. He’s a good player.”
As Reedy enters his senior season at Toledo, he will get an opportunity that he hasn’t been afforded since he was a senior at Lakewood in 2009 — a chance to play in front of his family and friends in his home state.
“That’s one of the big things that I’ve been thinking of all throughout camp and summer workouts,” Reedy said about the opportunity to play near his hometown. “You know it’s my last year and I want to go out and leave the best impression as a Toledo Rocket. And as my family is there to support me, I want to leave on a good note.”
“Honestly, I couldn’t even imagine,” Reedy said when asked how many of his friends and family would be in attendance on August 31. “I know everybody that I know from home is trying to come to the game.”
For the Rockets, the game against the Gators is a nice payday — about $800,000 from Florida — along with a chance to play on a national stage. If Toledo wants to make Florida pay both on and off the football field, they will need a big game from Reedy on the biggest stage that the senior has ever played on. Reedy is motivated to show Florida what they missed out on and he would revel in the opportunity to upset the Gators in The Swamp.
“I would say to a certain extent there is some motivation,” Reedy said when asked if there was extra incentive because Florida didn’t offer him a scholarship. “You know I’m from Florida and every kid either wants to be a Florida Gator or a Seminole growing up.”