After an outstanding junior season and racking up 25 full scholarship offers to play college football before committing to Virginia Tech, Thomas Dale safety C.J. Reavis earned the chance to take an unexpected vacation to Beaverton, Oregon. The standout defensive back was selected to participate in ESPN’s The Opening, a camp for the top 163 college football prospects in the Nation.
“It was a dream come true to be invited to the event,” said the gridiron star. “I’ve been watching it on TV for two years and to be invited was a blessing.”
Dale’s top defensive player was selected for the camp after participating at a Nike Camp in Ashburn, Va. in April. The Opening, sponsored by Nike, is an opportunity for the top college football talent in the nation to play 7 on 7 against each other. Participants received coaching from current and former NFL players.
During his time at camp, Reavis worked closely with Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and also worked with Seattle’s Pro-Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman and New York Jets first round draft choice cornerback Dee Millner. Reavis played for the Land Sharks during the event, who fell in the semi-finals.
“It was great to be able to work with these great players,” said Reavis. “Thomas kept telling us how important it is to be patient at our position,” he explained. “You always want to make the quarterback play off of you, don’t play off what the quarterback does.”
Ranked as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Reavis is close to a four-star recruit rating. According to Thomas Dale head coach Kevin Tucker, the senior is perhaps the most heavily recruited player in school history, comparing the attention Reavis garnered to former NFL running back Ken Oxendine. The 25 offers included offers from major schools such as Miami, Oklahoma and Nebraska, as well as in-state UVA in addition to Virginia Tech where Reavis will join former Knights Desmond Frye and D.J. Reid in the fall of 2014.
“I felt more at home at Virginia Tech than anywhere else I visited – they were also the first school to offer me, and I decided I wanted to play in Virginia.”
The recruiting scene exploded for Reavis after a monster junior season in which the standout tallied 107 tackles, broke up seventeen passes, intercepting three. This season came on the heels of a huge performance against Hermitage in the regional playoffs where Reavis notched 17 tackles. In short, Reavis is a playmaker.
“He’s got one of those skill sets that you only see every few years,” Tucker said.
Reavis has dedicated himself to the weight room and has seen results. The senior has worked his way up to 200 pounds and according to Tucker, is the most dedicated player in the weight room.
“He’s in there working out with the seniors and working out with the freshmen,” stated Tucker. “His dedication is wearing off on his teammates.”
Last year, an injury-riddled Knights squad struggled. Tucker attributed many of the injuries to a lack of conditioning and dedication in the weight room. This has been a primary difference between this off-season and last. The Knights will look to start to put it all together when practice officially kicks off August 5.
Despite the hard work and accomplishments, Reavis continues to push. On twitter he recently stated that he wanted to bring a state title back to Thomas Dale, and he has set and attained many personal goals since last season.
“I’m never satisfied with myself,” said the future Hokie. “I’m always looking for ways to improve.”
Coming in August, check out Reavis and the Knights in the Village News high school football preview along with previews of Matoaca, Meadowbrook and defending state champions L.C. Bird. Follow @VNewsSports on Twitter for continued coverage of local sports.