Wednesday, it was Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden took their turn on gathering the latest on FOX Sports NEXT three-star prospect Troy Reeder. Coaches from Villanova, Boston College, Maryland and Vanderbilt were also at the school last week.
“Of course, I can't really say much when they stop by, but I know they both stopped by,” Reeder said. “My coach said that Coach O'Brien really wanted to come down and express how much they want me. I worked with both Coach O'Brien and Vanderlinden last summer at one of their camps, and also talked to them both at a game this fall. I keep in pretty steady contact with Coach Vanderlinden.”
Reeder visited University Park for the Nittany Lions October scrap with Ohio State, but instead of being disappointed by the loss, the junior 'backer was able to further grow his relationship with the Nittany Lions' linebackers' leader. More often than not, the duo's conversation is one-sided, something Reeder is perfectly OK with.
“Coach Vanderlinden is absolutely one of the best coaches around, and he's coached some of the best linebackers that have ever played -- a lot of Butkus Award winners -- and I just like to take in everything he has to say,” Reeder said. “We usually talk about normal stuff like school, but I really enjoy our talks about the game of football. He's so knowledgeable, and I love listening to him. I have his book (Football's Eagle and Stack Defenses), and we discuss that sometimes, which is always great.”
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound inside linebacker is certainly one of the top if not the top linebacker priority in the early going for the Class of 2014 for the Nittany Lions. It's very likely Penn State will be on the top of his priority list when planning visits. But his time will be limited, as a second semester filled with lacrosse will keep him plenty busy.
“I'm going to decide where I want to visit in the next couple of weeks. My time is kind of limited because of lacrosse, so I want to lay out my schedule for February before the season starts,” Reeder said. “I want to figure out where I want to go and learn more about, and just continue building relationships.”
But with a relationship already built with Vanderlinden and company, he is already aware of potential junior day events at University Park.
“They're having a junior day in February, but they said they will be getting back to me with a date,” Reeder said. “They said they might prefer me to come up on a weekend or day that not too many people are there, so that I can get more individual attention and a private tour of campus. I'll just have to wait and see.”
Holding a handful of offers at the end of his junior season, Reeder hopes that number grows throughout the spring, a time where he says he will be bettering himself for the football field with a different ball -- and a stick.
“I think just athletically, lacrosse helps. You can't tackle, so when you hit it's all through your legs and balance,” Reeder said. “It helps with covering people, too, because you're running with some of the quickest guys there. It's really the athletic training that carries over, and playing with that kind of speed correlates to football.”
Speaking of football, Reeder said his goal is get the college decision out of the way before the 2013 season begins.
“I would like to decide before the start of the season, but ideally, I would like to have it done early in the summer,” Reeder said. “I want to get to the campus of the school I choose and work with my future coach a little more instead of going all over the country to a bunch of different campuses.”
Reeder also added he has no interest in early enrollment at this point.