Teammates to arch-rivals to draft prospects… this is the story.
Eric Reid and Eddie Lacy began a journey together as teammates at Dutchtown High school in Geismar, La., and now they will reunite in the Big Apple for the Draft.
On April 25th, Reid and Lacy awaited their fate in the 2013 NFL Draft. Both Reid and Lacy were in New York City at Radio City Music Hall Thursday night for the draft.
Reid ended up going with the 18th pick in the first round to the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, while Lacy had to wait until Friday when he was taken with the 61st overall pick in the second round by the Green Bay Packers.
Even though both players have had significant success in their football careers thus far, their stories are substantially different.
Reid, a Baton Rouge native, knew all along that he was destined to be an LSU Tiger. His father, Eric Reid Sr., won a national championship in the 110-meter hurdle in 1987 as a senior at LSU. Reid Sr. is in the schools athletic hall of fame as an All-American hurdler and still works on the LSU campus.
Reid, opted out of his senior season with the Tigers to make himself available for the 2013 NFL Draft. Becoming a professional football player has been a dream of Reid’s since he was a little boy.
“It is my dream, I’m living my dream,” Reid said before the draft to KSLA.com. “It really doesn’t matter what team I go to. I’m doing what a lot of other people aren’t able to do, so I’m very blessed for that.”
In his three years with the Tigers, Reid played on teams that won 10 or more games all three years. In 2011 LSU went 13-1 capturing the Southeastern Conference title and contended against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
Reid and the Tigers came up substantially short against Lacy and the dominant Tide, 21-0. Overall, Reid’s three-year record at LSU was 34-6.
In his final season with the Tigers in 2012, Reid started all 13 games and finished third on the team in tackles with 91. He earned First Team All-America as a junior and was named twice to SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011 and 2012.
Overall in his collegiate career as an aggressive safety, Reid played in 39 games, starting 29 times. He finished with 194 career tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and six interceptions.
On the other side of the ball, ground and pound running back Eddie Lacy endured a harder road to the pros.
In 2005, as a freshman, Lacy earned a spot on the varsity football team at Helen Cox High School in Harvey when disaster struck.
Lacy, a Gretna native, was forced out of his hometown when Hurricane Katrina hit and the Lacy family relocated to Texas. After the storm passed, the Lacy family enrolled in the “Share Your Home” program that landed Lacy in Geismar.
“Because of the hurricane, I didn’t know where I would wind up or what my future would be,” Lacy said to the Advocate.com.
At Dutchtown High school, Lacy took his frustration out on the football field while gaining serious attention as a dominant running back for the Griffins.
Both Reid and Lacy received national attention from colleges all over the country despite both players suffering injuries prior to the start of their collegiate football careers.
Lacy’s desire to play out of state led him to sign with Alabama. During his four years in Tuscaloosa, Lacy redshirted his freshman year and then sat patiently waiting behind Hesiman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, both now in the NFL.
As a junior, Lacy ran for 1,322 yards on 204 carries and 17 touchdowns, earning First Team All-SEC honors. In his final game as a Crimson Tide, Lacy earned MVP honors and scored two touchdowns and collected 140 yards in the BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame.
“He’s faster than you think,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said to ESPN.com. “He has very deceptive speed and very deceptive quickness. … I think Eddie is a very, very complete player. I don’t really see a lot of flaws in his game. I think he’ll be a very, very good player for somebody.”
In his four years with the Tide, Lacy has been a part of a program that went 50-5 winning three BCS National Championships and two SEC Championships. Needless to say, Lacy has been a part of a national powerhouse with Coach Saban and the Crimson Tide.
Lacy faced a national disaster at the start of his football career but it seems like nothing will detour him on his path to success.
“I can get through anything, any obstacle after you know, everything that I’ve been through,” Lacy said to ESPN.com. “I just know that nothing can stop me.”