RECRUITING: Gators a better fit for Reed

The football season ended too early for Panama City Bay wide receiver commit Bert Reed. District foe Wakulla upended the Tornadoes 35-15 on the final week of regular season play. However, Reed has quickly turned his competitive focus to basketball.

Bay finished with a respectable 7-3 record losing only to top-ranked Tallahassee Godby (47-13) and Pensacola (28-20), before dropping a key district game to the War Eagles at Tommy Oliver Stadium.

The highlight of their season was winning the Bay County Championship. The Tornadoes stunned arch-rival Mosley 32-30 before ripping Rutherford 36-17 one week later. Under Reed’s leadership, the Tornadoes offense averaged 30.1 points per game.

“Since football season ended, I’ve been in two-a-days for basketball,” Reed said. “I’ve been practicing from two forty-five to five and seven to nine. I really haven’t spoken to many coaches at all. I heard from Coach (Chuck) Heater last Thursday. I get text messages from Coach (Urban) Meyer randomly. I hear from Coach (Billy) Gonzales too. I’m supposed to be over there on December 10th.”

Since committing to the Gators last month, Mickey Andrews and Florida State has put on the full court press.

“Coach (Mickey) Andrews really wants me,” Reed said. “He said that he likes my character and he really thinks that I’d be great in their defense. They offered me. But, I think it’s really more of a situation where they just want to pick up a good player. You know what I mean? I don’t think that I’m a fit for their scheme offensively. They want me as a defensive player. I don’t want to play defense. I haven’t played there in a long time and that’s not what I want to do.”

Reed said that he was aware of the rumors surrounding all of the attention he is receiving from the Seminoles. Some speculate that he will remain near Panama City for school. However, he insisted that proximity is really a non-factor.

“It’s a little farther to Gainesville,” he stated. “I really need to get over there for a game though. But, I feel like I’m committed to Florida because of the things the school has to offer and because I fit their scheme. They want me to play offense and they have a scheme that I’m comfortable with. I’m the same type of player they’re looking for. I watch the Florida games on TV and I can see myself doing the things that (Andre) Caldwell and (Jemalle) Cornelius do. I really can. Give me the ball, I’ll make people miss too. I do those type of things. It’s hard to explain to people, because I haven’t played the position in high school. I helped where I was needed for our team. I just know that I can do those things at Florida.”

His weekend plans aren’t booked as of yet. Reed knows there are two big games within four hours of Panama City. He might just end up in front of the family television set.

“I’m not sure if I’m going to make it over there (Tallahassee) this weekend for a game,” he added. “I’ve been to a couple of Florida State games already. It’s right around the corner, a couple hours or so. I saw them play Boston College and Troy. I’d really have to see if it fits into my schedule to go over there this weekend. I usually have some things to do with my Mom and Dad on the weekends. I’d rather watch games on TV honestly. But, the South Carolina game is big for Florida. That would be a good game to see.”