Confident Reeves Eager to Prove Himself

By Kyle Rowland on May 28, 2014 at 1:00p
22 Comments

When Bradley Roby ran afoul of common sense and good judgment, Armani Reeves quickly learned what it meant to be an elite college football cornerback. It takes speed, instinct, balance, delicate hands, etc. — a smorgasbord of skills. He’ll be the first to admit maybe he didn’t have all those attributes last season.

A year of coaching and experience has added seasoning to Reeves’ game. He used the spring to hone his skills and become acclimated to a new scheme. The aggressive style suits Reeves’ physical nature better than last year’s loose coverage philosophy. In defensive breakdowns, Reeves was often the scapegoat if he was on the field.

Those are memories Reeves would like to draw motivation from, but keep them in the past. As a four-star recruit, he didn’t anticipate on-field troubles and backlash from fans. But the passage of time – and a solid showing in the spring game – heals lingering wounds.

“It’s a fresh start. I can’t worry about what happened last year or even my freshman year,” Reeves said. “I’ve got to worry about what’s going on right now and in the future, working on my game and helping the young guys work on their game, too.”

Reeves left spring practice as the defacto starter at cornerback opposite senior Doran Grant. But Reeves’ position is very much up for grabs, with a yearlong competition and rotation likely. Those young guys he referenced would be Eli Apple and Gareon Conley. The redshirt freshmen will play in 2014.

The brief glimpses of Reeves this spring should remove fans’ fear regarding the junior. He’s stronger, giving him an even bigger advantage in a press coverage setting. With a powerful upper body, Reeves is able to dictate wide receiver movements and disrupt routes.

“It’s a fresh start. I can’t worry about what happened last year or even my freshman year.”– Armani Reeves

Adding muscle became an offseason event for Reeves. He describes himself as a workout freak who’s focused on strength and speed. It’s two areas Reeves can use to his advantage and consistently win matchups against receivers. 

The same language and words were used by the secondary – dream. They relish the opportunity to get in the grill of opposing pass catchers.

“You see it every Sunday,” Reeves said. “All you see is Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson. They’re sitting there pressed up, doing their thing. That’s what you dream of. If you have that mentality every play, great things are going to happen.”

When attitude and approach is discussed, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs rushes to the aid of Reeves. He knows what happened last season in three starts. And Coombs hears the negativity, but he also watches practice every day with perfect vision zoning in on the corners. 

Coombs sees no one working harder than Reeves, deeming him the “standard” in the defensive backfield as far as work ethic is defined and characterized.

“Anybody that’s watched him play, you never have a question about how hard he’s going to go,” Coombs said. “So he’s already got that, and what a great thing for him. When I walk into my meeting room and I say, ‘OK, who’s the hardest playing guy in this room?’ Day 1, that’s what I asked my guys in my unit, and they all said ‘Armani.’”

Reeves displays humility and gratitude when he hears coaches and players send compliments his way. All corners have a dose of brashness, too, and Reeves doesn’t stray from that mold. He’s confident in his abilities and won’t back down from telling those who are listening.

Becoming comfortable with all that’s been presented to him is how Reeves got to this point. The system fits, he’s grown to be valued. There’s no tiptoeing anymore. He admitted that the only direction to go is up, something that’s kept him hungry since the Orange Bowl ended.

“I feel confident,” Reeves said. “I’m going to play with confidence and know that I can do this job. I’m not worried about it at all.”

22 Comments

Comments

TheBadOwl's picture

Saw him on campus a few weeks back, and he's still rocking the Master Splinter Rat Tail. It's a beautiful thing.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+16 HS
bukyze's picture

The Armani Reeves of 2013 has planted deep rooted doubts about him being able to turn it around.   Maybe it was coaching, maybe it was scheme, maybe it was technique, I don't know.  I'm not that smart.  All I know is that when then ball went Armani's way, my butthole puckered a little bit tighter.  I certainly hope Armani can become a defensive force, and have a strong 2014 season.

+16 HS
Bamabucknut's picture

You said it better than I could .

OSUpawn's picture

I know its wishful thinking but I see our secondary playing a huge role this year.  They seem to have a new attitude.

Press coverage with an awesome D-Line is a great combo.  I can see a lot of rushed QB throws and some pick 6's. 

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

+16 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Also think this unit is going step up big come fall, with Armani Reeves playing an integral role.

I am not the Last Dragon, therefore I do not possess the power of the Glow.

thirtytrap's picture

As it has been said before...Attitude reflects leadership.

 

+1 HS
BierStube's picture

I still believe most of our problems last year came from scheme.  I really liked the fact the scheme had dramatically changed in the spring game.  My hope is we will see more of this type of scheme (and a few twists) this fall.

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

+17 HS
allinosu's picture

Agreed.  At times he looked lost and players around him were always point and shouting at him about his position on the field or what player he was responsible for. I don't think many players can play effectively like that. Ash seems to have given everyone direction and a little attitude towards the game. I really think as the year goes on we get better and better.

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

Between Shazier, Roby, Doran Grant, Mike Bennett, Noah Spence and Joey Bosa, we could end up with six first-round picks from last year's defense. The problem was absolutely the scheme and the coaching. They were too passive and indecisive.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+7 HS
Mortc15's picture

I thought the same thing when Shazier and Roby were drafted. Those 2 guys played for an awful defense and both in a lot of coverage and were still 1st round picks. The scheme was absolutely the problem and NFL scouts and coaches are smart enough to realize that and see what types of players those guys are/were. (This is skipping the fact that Shazier was an all-out beast regardless of how bad the rest of the defense was.)

Buck-I4Life

+2 HS
CGroverL's picture

Yeah, well...the NFL guys love speed. Shaier showed how fast he can be and Roby has been the only Buckeye to run a 40 in 4.1 seconds and under in a few years. Speed makes up for getting beat by almost every team's #1 receiver you play against...when it comes down to NFL, their camps, and combines, ya know? Bosa killed Taylor Lewan but Lewan almost made it in the top 10 when the draft came around. Bosa did throw Lewan around, right? Yeah...sometimes it can be difficult to keep those Buckeye freshman quiet...hahaha!

"I hope they're last in everything"

Thanks, Urb!

dubjayfootball90's picture

Big things this year from him. Can't wait for football...

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+1 HS
buckskin's picture

I like the fact that in that picture, he's actually wrapping up.

+1 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

I sure wish him the best.  The kid is really trying  hard.  But I will believe the turnaround when I see it.  Too many times he was chasing receivers and never looked back for the ball, totally out of position.  To come back from that performance and totally turn it around.  That would be awesome and a great come back story.

-1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Good read.  I do believe that the scheme was the primary reason that the defense struggled against the pass last year.  It wasn't the only cause, but I believe it had a lot to do with it.  Bringing in an improved scheme, and a scheme that players can easily understand so that they can play with less thinking and more instincts, as well as a scheme that is more fun to play, is only going to help.  And it's going to help Armani a lot.  Busting ass in the gym can only help, too.  I hope he feeds off the backlash he got last season and uses it as motivation to continue to get better.  He will be much improved this season.

Class of 2010.

+2 HS
warriard1002's picture

Let me see he put on more weight and muscle and got faster? Was he faster or stronger before this gain? Because I seem to remember a big tight end from Iowa leaving him in the dust like the Road Runner IJS some of this stuff just makes no sense i know its off season but sheeezzz?????

-1 HS
warriard1002's picture

I agree also that some of our problems last year was scheme but if every dude losses you in the open field regularly some burden has to be put on the players. There were several moments where Buckeyes players had opprtunities to make plays but they simply wiffed. I pray that the scheme was so bad that it put people on Islands without help  and we got burned repeatedly  due to it. But I also pray that its just not our talent is simply over hyped due to our fandom. Just a realistic opinion. GO BUCKEYES!!

warriard1002's picture

I love the Fresh Start attitude lets try to forget about last years defense.....PLEASEEEEE LETS GET IT STARTED SO THE THERAPY CAN BEGIN. UNFORTUNATELY THAT WOULD MEAN THE END OF SUMMER SO I WILL WAIT A LIL LONGER LOL.

WhySoSerious's picture

Live in Cali and I hate the summer. Fall please. Football please. Rat tail please. I used to have one of those until 9th grade. Bringing it back. 

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

jaxbuckeye's picture

I agree with most posters in that i hated the scheme last year. I felt that we conceded way too many easy throws. But the other side is the coaches know the players so was there a reason?  

Makes me nervous but we are going to find out. Good D line or not. Even with the safeties supporting pass more than run, corners can get exposed in press. Hope they are ready. 

 

 

 

DC-town's picture

It sounds like everyone remembers all abad for Armani last year but he started off well with Roby out and was a solid tackler whenever he was on the field- as dwc said above, his biggest problem was not turning his head when the ball was in the air...safeties had issues with that too- hope its corrected with ash coming in, as the corners coach didn't change-

people need to know going in the press coverage will be better overall, but te corners have a greater likelihood of getting Burned deep- remember that instead of booing 

'Piss excellence' -RB

+1 HS
mfoster's picture

The defense will be nasty. I cannot wait until the season begins!

*Buckeye 4 ever*