UT receiver draws comparisons to Eric PageWritten by Nate Pentecost | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bernard Reedy hears it every day on his way to class. He hears it all the time around Toledo. He has even heard it a few times while pumping gas.
As the University of Toledo junior wide receiver admits, there is simply no escaping the comparison between himself and former teammate Eric Page.
“We both do similar things, so I just kind of laugh and smile when I hear it,” Reedy said with a grin. “It makes me feel good though because Eric is a great player.”
From their reserved, soft-spoken demeanor, their shifty return moves and crisp route running, down to their stature — both are 5-foot-9 — the similarities are striking.
In fact, Toledo head coach Matt Campbell, the pair’s offensive coordinator from 2009-11, struggled to find any dissimilarities between the two.
“Maybe the only difference is a little bit of speed,” Campbell said. “Bernard has that extra gear he can kick into.”
Though Reedy saw action his freshman year (five catches for 32 yards and eight rushes for 35 yards and two touchdowns) he emerged as the complementary receiver to Page in 2011.
The St. Petersburg, Fla., native finished second on the team behind UT’s all-time leading receiver with 40 catches, 758 yards and nine touchdowns, providing the one-two punch the Rockets lacked at receiver since Stephen Williams, now playing for the Arizona Cardinals, graduated in 2009.
Reedy capped off his sophomore year with the best performance of his collegiate career, hauling in four passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns to garner MVP honors in Toledo’s 42-41 Military Bowl victory over Air Force.
For a brief time after the bowl season, it appeared Reedy and Page would be the primary weapons for the prohibitive favorite to win the Mid-American Conference in 2012.
In January, however, Page chose to forgo his senior year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft and Reedy was thrust into the No. 1 wideout spot on the depth chart.
Reedy said he is confident in his ability to fill the role and that has translated on the field by way of a team-high 19 receptions, 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns through three games this season.
He credits his preparedness, in part, to Page for showing him the way.
“He’s a hard worker. He does everything quietly, but he does everything right,” Reedy said. “Doing the small things right lets you do the big things right. That’s why he made so many big plays and had so much success here.”
Reedy, unsurprisingly, has adopted Page’s lead-by-example approach as well.
“I’ve never really been the vocal type,” Reedy said. “I just try to go out and do the right thing so the younger guys can follow me.”
So far, so good.