Florida’s 17-16 win over South Carolina apparently did a lot to convince some of the nation’s top high school recruits that the Gators have an awful lot to offer. Bay High School’s Bert Reed was one such recruit. Much of that credit goes to the fans that made “The Swamp” one raucous environment.
The wide receiver recruit was not sure if he’d be able to make it to Gainesville for the game. He had said that because of proximity, he might instead attend the Florida State game against Wake Forest in Tallahassee. He opted to spend some time on the University of Florida campus.
“Yes sir, I went to the game on Saturday,” Reed said. “It was really fun. Just a great environment. We went to the locker room and heard a few of the guys give their speeches They have great camaraderie on that team and that’s good. It was the loudest stadium I’ve ever been to in my life. We were yelling with them.”
“Yeah, a lot of the recruits were,” he added. “It left impression on them…on a lot of guys. DeMarcus Van Dyke (Miami Monsignor Pace cornerback) sat next to me. We talked quite a bit during the game. I can only say that a lot of guys were talking about what it would be like to play there. There were a lot of them that were close to committing. I’m not going to name any names though. I can’t do that. It was just fun.”
“I take my official visit (to Florida) on December 10th,” Reed said. “I’m thinking about bringing my Mom. She has never been to a big campus like that before. I’m still committed, probably 99%. I feel like a Florida Gator.”
“I just feel that I have to see all the schools and see for myself,” he continued. “A lot of the schools have stopped recruiting me. I told most of the other coaches that I’m not interested. The only other schools recruiting me are Florida State and Alabama. But, I’m not sure if I’ll visit Alabama. I’ve missed a lot of phone calls from the coaches there because I’ve been busy with basketball. I might just visit one (school). I’ll get it out of the way, so that I commit once and for all and focus on basketball.”
Reed won’t have an opportunity to ask his Mom if she would like to accompany him. She has already made that decision.
“I know that he had a good time over there (in Gainesville),” Veronica Reed had said earlier. “He talked about it and said that he really enjoyed it. I’m definitely going with him on his trip.”
Florida State continues their fight for the speedster. He stated earlier that the Seminoles are heavily recruiting him as a defensive back.
“Coach (Mickey) Andrews really wants me to visit,” he said. “He wants me to come in the second week of January. I’ll probably go ahead and do that just to be certain.”
Reed was returning from a basketball game when we spoke Tuesday evening. The shooting guard scored a team high 21 points and led the Tornadoes to a 71-54 victory over Malone.
He had the opportunity to play in the Emerald Coast Bowl football game last Thursday night against Pensacola Escambia. However, Reed opted not to play in the game and join the Tornadoes basketball team who had already begun practice.
“There was no reason for it,” he said. “The (football) season was over. It wasn’t on the schedule. We didn’t make the playoffs and our basketball season was starting. I felt like I needed to focus more on basketball. There was also the possibility of injury. I didn’t want to risk it. If something had happened and cost me my college career I’d have felt bad and always been wondering. I didn’t want to take that chance.”
As positive as Reed’s visit to “The Swamp” proved to be, you have to wonder what he might be thinking sitting in a half filled Doak Campbell Stadium watching Florida State get blown out by Wake Forest. A December 10th visit to Gainesville one week after Florida plays for a Southeastern Conference championship might be just the ticket to cement his commitment to the Gators once and for all.