How about Rylan Reed OT/Texas Tech? Worth a late look? UDFA? I read and really admired his story, and would like a fighter like this on the line. Perhaps coming in on tackle-eligible plays, since he's a converted TE?
[/B][/SIZE] [SIZE=-1][B][B]09:10 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 3, 2008[/B]
[/B][/SIZE] [SIZE=-1][B]By BRANDON GEORGE / The Dallas Morning News
[EMAIL="email@example.com"][B]firstname.lastname@example.org[/B][/EMAIL] [/B][/SIZE] LUBBOCK – At one of the lowest points of his life, Rylan Reed turned to his sister and laughed.
This was late April 2004. Rylan and his older sister, Reagen Brenner, were at a Plano vet having their injured family dog, Lexus, put to sleep.
This was only a few days after their father, Robert Reed, had died in a one-vehicle accident on his way to work and less than a week after Rylan had finally recovered from his battle against cancer.
"We were just numb from everything else," said Rylan, now a senior left tackle for Texas Tech's football team.
Added Brenner: "It was like, 'OK, all of this happened and we're still standing. If anything else was going to happen, bring it on. We can take it now.' "
Rylan's path to starting at Texas Tech has been every bit of the road less traveled. But with a tireless work ethic and an unmatched positive attitude, Rylan stared death in the eyes and smiled on his way from a professional pitcher in the Chicago White Sox organization to one of the oldest football players on any college campus this year.
Rylan, who is often called "pops" or "granddaddy" by his teammates, will turn 27 in November.
As a senior at Crossett (Ark.) High School, Rylan was a standout tight end/defensive end and in baseball featured a 95 mph-plus fastball.
Football scholarship offers poured in from the likes of SEC powers Arkansas and Tennessee, and pro baseball scouts turned out in droves.
Rylan had a decision. He could either play football for his home-state Razorbacks or fulfill a lifelong dream of his and his father – who played baseball at Rice – and become a pro pitcher.
Weighing the longevity of a career, Rylan chose baseball. The White Sox selected him in the 23rd round of the 2000 draft and made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
"They gave me like second- or third-round slot money. It was like $550,000 and a college scholarship plan," Rylan said.
Rylan headed for rookie ball in Arizona while the family moved to Dallas.
In 2002, Rylan was 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA for the White Sox's rookie league affiliate in Bristol, Va. He pitched alongside current Rangers Brandon McCarthy and Josh Rupe, with whom he often exchanges text messages. Rylan was named the Sox's Organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2003.
McCarthy said Rylan, who is now 6-7, 315 pounds and recently broke his Tech record by bench pressing 625 pounds, was a daunting presence on the mound.
"He would intimidate the hell out of you," McCarthy said. "He had muscles coming out of muscles. That was a sight.
"He had good stuff. Without a doubt, if injuries don't set him back, he's in the big leagues and probably pretty successful."
A week before Christmas in 2003, Rylan began having severe stomach pains. He turned to his mother, Hollis, who lives in Plano, and said, "Something is not right."
Exploratory stomach surgery led to doctors cutting out a tumor and three feet of his intestines.
At 22, Rylan was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system that causes tumors to grow from white blood cells.
"I was devastated," Hollis Reed said.
Rylan spent eight days in the hospital and was bedridden for a month. He lost his hair and about 30 pounds – all the way down to about 230 – during 3 ½ months of chemotherapy.
"My first thought was, 'Am I ever going to play baseball again?' " Rylan said. "Then it was like, 'Am I going to live?' "
Two days after Rylan called to tell the White Sox he had recovered from cancer and was ready to return, two state troopers and a clergyman knocked on the family's front door.
Robert Reed, Rylan's father who was also his best friend, hadn't returned home from his job as a manager at a Walgreen's distribution center in Waxahachie, where he worked the overnight shift to beat traffic.
"They said, 'You might want to take a seat,' " Rylan recalled. "At that point, I knew something wasn't right. They said, 'You're dad has passed away.' "
Back to school, football
A few days after burying his father, Rylan said he returned to the White Sox "to get away." But he said it was different. He had lost so much weight, and his heart just wasn't in it.
Rylan decided to go to college and try to play football again. He landed at Texas Tech, where he played tight end as a freshman before coach Mike Leach moved him to the offensive line.
Rylan became a force last season, his first as a starter. In a Gator Bowl win over Virginia, he was often matched up against standout defensive end Chris Long, the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Rylan limited Long to three tackles and no sacks.
Rylan broke his right ankle late in the fourth quarter against Virginia. And again, Rylan, who in December will have been cancer-free for five years, turned to what he's leaned on so many times: a positive attitude and a laugh.
"I was like, 'Come on. A broken ankle, is that all you got?' " Rylan said, smiling. "One of my mottos in life is a setback is a setup for a good comeback. And Lord knows, I've had my setbacks. Coming here to Tech was part of my comeback. There were some people doubting if I was going to come back from the broken ankle, and I was like, 'That's fine.' I've always had the odds against me. And I've done well that way."
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[QUOTE=bepezz;3104212]How about Rylan Reed OT/Texas Tech? Worth a late look? UDFA? I read and really admired his story, and would like a fighter like this on the line. Perhaps coming in on tackle-eligible plays, since he's a converted TE?
Reed tore a knee ligament running his forty on pro-day in mid-march....his career is over....
Tiquan underwood wr from rutgers. Great local kid who is very fast and very athletic. 1000 yard season two years ago and has the ability to return kicks. He blew up the combine this year. He was also team captain this past year. He could turn out to be a steal in round 6
[QUOTE=NYJETS3233;3104355]Tiquan underwood wr from rutgers. Great local kid who is very fast and very athletic. 1000 yard season two years ago and has the ability to return kicks. He blew up the combine this year. He was also team captain this past year. He could turn out to be a steal in round 6[/QUOTE]
I would love this pick. He's got great long strides, goes over the middle, etc. Unfortunately I have a feeling if the Jets didnt draft a WR in the first 5 rounds, due to trade ups and lack of picks, the chance of them drafting one in the 6th is unlikely :mad: