At every level, Toledo’s Bernard Reedy Jr. has taken doubters and converted them. And so this is where the former Lakewood standout finds himself, the little receiver playing on the biggest stage as he returns home today to play in the Swamp in the season opener against Florida.
“It’s going to be big,” Reedy said. “I’m gong to have at least 50 friends and family members gong to the game and even more watching home in St. Petersburg. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to.”
As a Spartan, Reedy’s numbers were eye-popping, even by the standards of a video game. He had 3,075 all-purpose yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior and was named the Times’ all-Pinellas County player of the year.
But the 5-foot-9, 175-pound receiver was deemed too small by most big-time college programs. So Reedy signed with Toledo, the one school that stayed with him throughout his recruiting process.
Reedy has since wreaked havoc on defenses. Last season, he had 1,113 yards and six touchdowns as a receiver and 1,095 yards and four touchdowns as a returner. He was the MVP in the Rockets’ past two bowl games and is a candidate for the Biletnikoff Award (receiver) and Hornung Award (most versatile).
“I’ve just wanted to go out and prove myself,” Reedy said. “I was more upset than anything when Florida didn’t offer me in high school. Tim Tebow was my favorite player. But everything has worked out for me.”
Toledo has a potent offense with quarterback Terrance Owens and running back David Fluellen both returning.
Reedy also is an essential component in the spread attack, so much that other Lakewood receivers such as Rodney Adams, now a freshman at Toledo, and Andrew Davis, a Lakewood senior who committed to the Rockets last month, have wanted to follow in his path.
“We’ve got a good thing going on here,” Reedy said. “I’m not worried about personal stats. My biggest goal is to help us win. This is a big game for us, the first time the school has ever played an SEC opponent. I think we can do well, and then we’re going to try to go on and win the MAC title. Those are my goals.”