Nebraska Football: Interview with 2013 NFL Draft Prospect Kyler Reed

Colan Lamont@clamontsportAnalyst IIJuly 2, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 05: Tight end Kyler Reed #25 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs the ball downfield into cornerback Jordan Mabin #26 of the Northwestern Wildcats during their game at Memorial Stadium November 5, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Northwestern beat Nebraska 28-25. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Kyler Reed is one of the more dynamic players in college football.

At 6'3", 230 lbs, the senior tight end has the speed that most wide receivers desire.

His injury-riddled junior season of 2011 didn't quite match his 2010 campaign in which he set a tight end record at Nebraska with eight touchdown receptions.

Considered a "tweener" at the next level, whether he projects best as a wide receiver or tight end is still to be decided.

Some may think that Nebraska's power based style of football doesn't suit Reed's game but he is a surprisingly effective blocker.

Add to that a pair of good hands, a fully fit Reed should be among the more dynamic offensive weapons in the Big Ten again.

Not many players offer as much upside as Reed and I'm sure he could be the next athletic college tight end to make a name for himself in the NFL.

A good senior year could see his draft stock rise: already sees him as the No. 6 senior tight end prospect in college football.

Capable of stretching the field, I'm sure Reed will be a great help for Taylor Martinez in the upcoming season.

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Kyler was happy to agree to an interview with me and here it is.

Colan Lamont: You are considered a bit of a "tweener" who could project as a tight end, h-back or wide receiver at the next level; would you consider adding more bulk and maybe sacrificing some speed to be seen as a pure tight end prospect, or are you going to stay the same size and use your great speed and versatility as a selling point to pro scouts?

Kyler Reed: What I'm looking to do is gain weight, if possible. If I am able to gain good healthy weight, mostly by gaining muscle mass, then I am all for gaining weight. What I don't want to do is gain unhealthy weight, which could negatively affect my play. When it comes to scouts I like to think that if they are willing to take a risk on me, then they have a spot were they need me. If they don't want a 230-pound TE they will just look elsewhere. Now, if I make a team and they then tell me they want me to gain 10 pounds then I will look to do just that. Here at Nebraska 230 is a weight we both agree on.

CL: Which NFL team would you play for in an ideal world?

KR: I think my home town team would be cool to play for. I'm from KC so that would be the Chiefs. Besides that I would be excited to play for any team.

CL: If you could pick one other college offense where you think you could thrive, where would it be and why?

KR: I think an offense like Missouri that puts the TE out in a receiver role would be great for me, only problem is TE in those offenses don't get as much experience blocking

CL: Are there any other tight ends in the Big Ten you see having a great year?

KR: Honestly, I don't know too many other TEs in the conference. I just don't pay too much attention to other offenses. I think my fellow TE at Nebraska Ben Cotton will have a good year, and the Ohio State TE Stoneburner will have another big year.

CL: As a great receiver, do you ever regret going to a "run-happy" team?

KR: Well, that was something I thought about before I committed to Nebraska, but I still decided to come. If we are winning games, I am happy. I also understand we play many TEs. Ben had around 13 catches last year, that combined with mine puts us around 30 catches. So we share those. I think being at Nebraska has prepared me to be an all around TE, which is helpful to me in the long run.

CL: You are a similar size to the likes of Aaron Hernandez and he is a star in the NFL, what do you feel that you have to improve on in order to have an impact like that in the NFL?

KR: I think I have all the skills it takes to be like Aaron, what I would need most is NFL experience. It's a big jump to that level, and it would take me a bit to learn how it works. That being said, I think I can work on route running and catching balls. The things he does really well.

CL: What have you been working on during the offseason?

KR: Me personally, just the little things like catching, footwork, technique, film study. I'm with the team everyday working to get stronger, quicker and faster. Making sure I gain a few pounds to get ready for the season. We have also been working a lot as a team on accountability, and being good teammates to each other. We are working to set a high standard, and then hold each other to those high standards. 

CL:  Do you feel healthy after some injury troubles last year?

KR:  Yes, I was as healthy as possible during spring practices, and have been healthy all summer, which is allowing me to train at full speed. 

CL: Do you feel that you and Taylor Martinez have a good understanding on the field?

KR: This will be our second year in Coach Becks' offense. I think we really started understanding each other during spring ball. By that I mean I think we understand how we fit in the offense. As a QB, eventually you get used to how your receivers go about their work.

CL: Do you expect to better your sophomore statistics in your senior year?

KR: I would love to improve on those stats, but it's not something that will be in my mind. That was two years ago, I can't keep dwelling on that year. What I want is to feel like I had a very productive year, and I helped my team to a championship. Last year being hurt in most of the games, I didn't always feel like I was helping my team like I should be.

CL: You have had lots of good games for Nebraska but what do you consider to be your best performance?

KR: I think my best game was during my soph year at Oklahoma St. I had a few catches and one TD. Also I played over 60 plays that game, meaning I played a big role in the victory.

 CL: Do you have a favorite route you like to run?

KR: There is a play I won't name, but was very successful for me over the last two years. My route in the play is a skinny post, usually against a safety or a corner on the back side. It's not that running a skinny post is my favorite route, but combined with the other routes in the play. It is awesome.

CL: How much have you had to work on your blocking skills in the run-first offense?

KR: We as TEs work on every aspect of the game all the time. We don't want to just be good at one skill. We want to be able to run, catch and block. That way we are always prepared, and anyone of the TEs can step in when needed. That being said we work a lot on footwork for run-blocking. That is where it starts.

CL: Which current/former NFL player do you most admire?

KR: As of now I don't really have a favorite player. However I do really respect Darren Sproles. Simply because he is a very small guy, and goes out and performs. Also because he grew up near where I am from. As a kid Terrell Davis was my favorite player.

CL: Apart from Memorial Field, which stadium do you most enjoy playing in?

KR: As of now, I would have to say Virginia Tech. Even though they were screaming lots of things at us. It was a very fun place to play, and very loud. They have great fans.

CL: What are your hobbies outside of the sport?

KR: I like to read science fiction books and play video games. That is mostly what I do. Also, I am a huge music fan. I am listening to music most of the day. Mostly hip hop or rap, but also a lot of rock and R&B. Pretty much everything except country.

CL: Any superstitions or pregame rituals?

KR: I'm not a superstitious guy. I really don't care what I do before a game. But I do make sure I go out early to look at the stadium we are in. That and I like to listen to music. The only thing I make sure to do is write believe on my left arm, and 2 Kings 6:16 on my right. "Believe" to help remind me to be confident in my skills, and to believe in what I know I can do. The verse says "do not be afraid, those that are with us are more then those with them". Helps me not to fear, because I have trust in my team, and I know how good we can be.

CL: Have you met with any of the incoming 2012 recruits?

KR: I have managed to meet a few of the new freshmen that are here in Lincoln training with us.

CL: Do you think your role on the team will change in anyway now that you are a senior?

KR: I think I will be asked to be more of a vocal leader, but besides that I am expected to perform.

CL: What are your expectations for the 2012 season?

KR: The expectation is a championship. This is my final year at Nebraska. I want a ring.

A huge thanks to Kyler for doing this interview and to Keith Mann for setting it up. Thank you also to those of you who gave me questions that you would like to see answered.

Colan Lamont is a contributor for Bleacher Report. All quotes in this interview were obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted.