Being compared to current Philadelphia Eagles CB Asante Samuel, Armani Reeves will likely join a long list of shutdown corner backs to play at Ohio State. Standing at almost 6', Reeves will be taller than most college cornerbacks and will match up well against tall wide receivers.
I had a chance to catch up with this fine young man in order to get an inside look into Ohio State football.
Have you been in contact with anyone on the team? What are they telling you?
AR: I talk and text with Doran Grant. I was up there a few weeks ago and will be there for the spring game. The players are telling me to get ready, it is very challenging but also fun. Urban [Meyer] will be great for Ohio State.
Was football your first love?
AR: When I was younger I preferred playing basketball, but around fifth grade I started to play football and fell more and more in love with it. I also saw that I had physical aptitude to play football and began to excel, though I loved and still love basketball.
Recently, Matt Hayes of the Sporting News wrote a scathing article that painted Coach Meyer in a negative light; what did you think about the article?
AR: Nothing really. I know Coach Meyer is a great man and a great coach and it did not affect me one bit.
What is your fastest 40 time?
With that type of speed, could you be the “playmaker” that Urban Meyer is looking for?
AR: I do believe I can help on offense as well as defense. I have always been able to find holes and read defenses, and with my quickness and speed, I can hit these holes fast. There were a lot of schools that recruited me for offense. Some schools gave me the choice of whether or not to play offense or defense. I love defense and will do whatever I need to in order to help the team win. If the team needs me to play offense, I can do whatever the team needs. I just want to get on the field.
If OSU needs me to be a playmaker then I can do it.
How many touchdowns did you score last year on special teams?
AR: No one kicked to me all season on kickoffs. I had five punts that I was able to return and I took two back for touchdowns.
One of the first things the coaches at OSU told me was that I would return kicks as soon as I get there. Coach Meyer has placed a premium on speed guys and they have told me that I will be very important to the team.
Coach Meyer and I have not talked about offense because we are thin at cornerback, so I think that is where I can help the team most. I will do whatever I need to for the Buckeyes to win.
What are you doing now to prepare for OSU?
AR: [Camren Williams and I] work out four times a week. On Saturdays, I have foot work training. Upper, lower every other day, and boxing to work shoulders and feet. I do a lot of different workouts to help me be more explosive.
Would you classify yourself as a shutdown corner or as a hard-hitting safety?
AR: Shutdown corner. I am very physical and bigger than most corners; plus, I have speed to hang with anyone. I have been shutting down the nation's top wide receivers at camps and seven-on-sevens.
What is the main difference between players who are corners and safeties?
AR: Safeties pretty much need to be bigger and stronger but not as fast. They need to cover ground and play over the top; they are the last line of defense and need to know what is going on and to know coverages and communicate with the corners. They do not need to be as fast or as agile as corners because corners do a lot of cutting.
You were one of the few players that were recruited heavily by OSU and Michigan (or TSUN, "The State Up North"); how will you feel when you meet at the end of the season?
AR: Definitely unique, 'cause I was the first person recruited by both schools under Urban Meyer. It will be different cause I know both staffs really well and was recruited by both. When we play the TSUN I want to show them how well I am doing. The last thing coach [Greg] Mattison, the defensive coordinator, told me was to be the best man I can be, make it to the NFL, get my education; I am going to work hard and be the best player I can be.
What is Brady Hoke like?
AR: He is a great guy, down to earth and expects a lot from players,
Difference between Hoke and Meyer?
AR: Personality, Meyer is football-football-football; Hoke is easier-going. Coach Meyer expects a lot and is way more intense then Hoke during practices. Both are intense in practice, but Meyer’s tempo is much different.
What has Camren’s father, Brent Williams, meant to you?
AR: He is my father and is always there for me if I need him. He gets on me when I am not doing well, encourages me when I need it, listens to me when I need to talk. He has been a highly important influence in my life and a great role model. I cannot speak enough of how he has impacted me.
Difference between Greg Mattison and Everett Withers/Luke Fickell?
AR: Coach Withers was at UNC when Brenan, Camren’s older brother, was there. I had a really great relationship with him, really personable loves football. Fickell is fun and intense—he will be a head coach someday.
Difference between them and Mattison, Coach Mattison is really funny, he dances to music in his office, he loves listening to music. Coach Mattison tells a lot of stories, especially about the NFL and Ray Lewis. You would not expect Coach Mattison to be so funny because he is older.
Coach Withers is funny, but they are really different, it is hard to explain. Fickell is funny but intense, loves football, passionate, a great teacher, an amazing coach.
What is Hoke’s recruiting style? How does it differ from Meyer’s?
AR: My main recruiter was [Curt] Mallory and Coach Mattison at UM. Coach Meyer is very different than other coaches; he has had so much success, knows ups and downs of football back and forth, knows a lot of people and is used to being the man. When Urban walks into the room it is Urban Meyer, one of the best.
Hoke is really down-to-earth guy. If he walks in a room, you may not know he is a coach and talks a lot about growing up as young men.
Coach Meyer is a rockstar while Hoke is an average Joe.
Are you trying to recruit for 2013 class? Whom are you working on?
AR: Not really recruiting anyone. Alex Anzalone and Ezekiel Elliott, I have hung out with. Cam Burrows is the one who is recruiting a lot for the 2013 class, but it should be a great one.
What will your major be? Computer science or computer graphics.
What is your favorite food? Pancakes.
What are your hobbies? I play a lot of sports and watch basketball. Despite living in Massachusetts, I am a big Lakers fan. I love Kobe.
Favorite NFL team? I am a Jets fan; I don’t like the Patriots, but if I get drafted by them, I will love them. I don’t follow baseball