It’s been called “The World’s Toughest Job Interview.” For seven days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 20-26), college football’s best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts prior to the NFL Draft. To prepare, more than three-dozen top prospects traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of position-specific skill-work, speed and movement, physical and mental conditioning, communications and leadership training, nutrition, vision training, sports medicine and more with world-renowned coaches and trainers.
At 6-2, 212 pounds, Eric Reid more than upholds the LSU tradition of producing physical and dominant defensive backs. There's more to Reid than football, though. An honors student, Reid majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and hopes to become an entrepreneur after his pro career. Read more below.
Eric Reid on...
...following in his dad's footsteps (an LSU Athletic Hall of Fame member as a hurdler): In my eyes, no other school stood a chance. I didn’t take any official visits to anywhere but LSU. My parents actually wanted me to look around. They told me to find what is best for you. For me, it was always LSU. I was ready to commit as soon as they offered me.
It’s funny, though. Coach Seagrave (IMG Academy's Head of Speed Training) was actually the LSU women’s track coach when my dad was there. When we did the tour of campus and my dad saw him, he was ecstatic. He knew then that this place would be a great fit for me.
I was pretty good at hurdles. I was No. 1 in the state for a while, but then I pulled my hamstring and that was it. I knew I had to focus on football.
...playing in Tiger Stadium: It’s a blessing. Not many people have the chance to do what I’ve been able to do. I remember, the first time I was in the tunnel as a freshman, I was shivering and shaking. It was exhilarating. I didn’t get to play until I came in against Alabama. To this date, my highlight as a player is solo tackling Mark Ingram when he was fresh off his Heisman. I felt very comfortable after that. I’m like That was the Heisman Trophy winner. I’m going to be all right out here.
...Alabama: Man, I don’t want to use the wrong word. It's an intense emotion. It’s hard not to get angry. Freshman year, we beat them. Sophomore year, we beat them in the regular season. At least I can say that.
I actually went to high school with Eddie Lacy. I always supported his decision to go to Alabama. Even though we live in Tiger Country, he worked his whole life to get to that decision, so I always supported him. He doesn’t rub it in that much. I asked to see his championship rings.
...summarizing Les Miles: We have this Tempo Drill, where the coaches bring out these huge, 6-foot high speakers to simulate noise in practice. One day, I look over and he’s nodding his head, then he’s dancing a little bit. Next thing you know, the whole team stops practicing and starts cracking up. He’s just that kind of guy. He has a sense of humor, but he knows when to get down to business.
...his toughest opponent: Trent Richardson. I felt every hit on the ride home. He was a load, man.
...Louisiana cuisine: My favorite Louisiana food is Grandma’s everything. Gumbo, etouffee, dirty rice, everything. She is an awesome cook. We joke that if I get drafted by a team up north, she's going to have to ship me food.
...training at IMG Academy: It’s intense. My first day here, I went home and went straight to sleep. I’ve been focusing on everything. Running fast, jumping high and getting my body in the best shape it’s ever been. This is a job now and I have to treat it that way. I have all of the tools here to get better.