For the second time in as many years, Kareem Reid will see one of his former high school players, who went on to attend Clemson, get selected in the NFL Draft.
Back when he was the head coach at Coconut Creek (Fla.), Reid coached cornerback Trayvon Mullen, who was taken by the Raiders with the No. 40 overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
This year, Reid will watch with anticipation as he waits for another one of his former star cornerbacks – A.J. Terrell – to be drafted. In the last week, many experts have moved the Clemson product into the first round of their mock drafts, with his highest projection coming in at No. 16.
Reid, now the head coach at Griffin (Ga.) High, coached Terrell when he was the head coach at Westlake (Atlanta).
“It’s gratifying for me,” Reid told The Clemson Insider. “It makes two years in a row because I coached Trayvon Mullen in high school, too. So I had him, and to see A.J. go the next year probably in a similar spot, just excited for A.J. and his family because he’s a great kid and has a great family.”
It was obvious to Reid when coaching Terrell, a former five-star prospect, that he had a future in the NFL barring injury. Terrell’s talent was undeniable, and Reid knew he was the complete package.
“I coach a lot of top kids, but he’s a five-star, five-star,” Reid said. “Like, that kid is everything that he was advertised, and athletically, he could do it all. He could play whatever position you needed him to. He had a high football IQ, and then off the field, his character was first class. He was always respectful. He deserves everything coming his way, man. So, I definitely saw it. I said, ‘If he stays healthy, he’s definitely going to be in the NFL.’”
Once Terrell moved on to Clemson, the success he had there came as no surprise to Reid.
Terrell concluded his three-year career as a Tiger with 107 tackles, 20 pass breakups, six interceptions and two forced fumbles in 44 games (30 starts). He helped Clemson to a 29-1 record and national championship in two years as a starter (2018 and 2019) and scored the first points of the 2018-19 College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama on a pick-six.
“It was expected. I knew he was going to go in and have success,” Reid said. “Like I said, as long as he stays healthy and just continues to be who he was for us in high school, I knew he was going to have a lot of success. As a team, I’m really happy for those guys because like I said, he was the second player I had at Clemson after Tray, so I was excited that they won a couple of nattys and obviously had a lot of success as a program overall. And for him individually, again, I wasn’t surprised at all. He’s a great athlete.”
Reid believes Terrell has a bright future in the NFL, regardless of which team he lands with.
“They’re going to get a kid that’s really dedicated and committed to his craft,” Reid said, “somebody they won’t have to worry about in terms of investing into that kid because he’s going to represent the program and the organization the right way, and I think they’re going to get a perennial Pro Bowl-type player.”
“By his second or third year, I predict he’ll be in a Pro Bowl,” Reid added.
Reid credited Terrell’s family for the job they did in raising him and helping him achieve his dream of one day playing in the NFL.
“He has an athletic family. In fact, all his siblings I believe all played sports, ran track. He has a little brother that’s pretty damn good, too,” Reid said. “But they’re just very involved, they’re supportive. They were supportive of me and what we were trying to get done with the program and with A.J. as well in high school. So, he’s always been a kid that his parents are going to hold him accountable to do the right thing, and they just raised him right. He’s a respectful kid, so never had any issues out of him. He was always where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing, and I think that obviously helped him and played a big part in getting to this point.”
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