Always respected by the football community for his skills, defensive lineman Caraun Reid ’14 has used his fifth year as a Tiger to develop as a vocal leader on and off the field, as well as thrive as a leader among the campus Christian and arts communities. Known for his faith and his singing voice (see below) in addition to his ability to put pressure on the quarterback, the pro-football hopeful will be waiting to hear his name called during this week’s NFL draft, which begins May 8.
Reid credits his work ethic for allowing him the opportunity to take on his initial leadership role on the football team; those leadership responsibilities, he said, were heightened over the past year.
“I definitely stepped up more in terms of vocal leadership. Granted I was one of the better players on the team so everyone always saw my work ethic and being able to make plays on the field as leadership, but I took more responsibility over the lives of my teammates and how they developed,” Reid said. “I think more and more it just drove me to work harder knowing, if I’m doing a lot of talking then I have to be at the level where no one can question my work ethic. … That’s what I want to bring to the pros, just being one of those guys that always stands out, on and off the field.”
Reid’s maturation and intense dedication were evident to coaches and teammates.
“He’s always been somebody who led by example and somebody who pushed himself,” said head coach Bob Surace ’90. “When he first got here he was quiet and shy, very reserved, and worked hard, but didn’t say too much… . I really felt the maturity showed last fall in that he became more of a vocal leader, … especially losing Mike Catapano [’13] … we really needed him to step up in that capacity. I felt he really finally understood that these guys respect him not just for the type of player but also for the type of person he is.”
Cornerback Jakobi Johnson ’15 added that teammates knew Reid would “get the job done,” even before he led the Tigers in sacks during their Ivy League championship season.
Despite a lack of flashy personal statistics, Reid impressed scouts all season with his size, strength, and speed, and has been auditioning since the college season ended to prove that he has the requisite skills to compete at the professional level. Reid hopes to follow in the footsteps of former teammate Mike Catapano ’13, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Kansas City Chiefs last spring. Some projections have Reid going as high as the third round.
“Just be ready, willing and able to do anything the organization needs,” Catapano advised his former teammate.
Surace, who coached both Reid and Catapano, noted that Reid is hard-working, accountable, responsible, and dependable — traits that make him the type of player any coach would want to have on his team.
“Those same characteristics that helped Catapano come in and assimilate to a role in the NFL, those are also going to help Caraun come in and be successful,” Surace said.