A week earlier the pair had attended a summer football camp at Georgia, where Bryant already was committed to play. But, by the time Reid returned home to Houston, that chance was gone.
Awaiting Reid was a letter saying Georgia had revoked its scholarship offer. While Bryant and Reid were at the Elite 11 camp, quarterback Blake Barnes verbally committed to the Bulldogs.
“They were through recruiting quarterbacks, and that was that,” Reid said. “I was upsetbecause they told me no, but I had to understand it was business. I should have committed their first if it’s where I wanted to go. I respect Georgia to the fullest for doing business the way they did.”
Until then, Reid had been very close to committing to Georgia, which would have made the Bulldogs happy then and now. Then, because he was one of the nation’s top dual threat quarterbacks. Now, because he’s about to lead Oklahoma State into Sanford Stadium for a 6:45 p.m. game Saturday.
“He looks just like Vince Young on film,” cornerback Bryan Evans said.
Reid was seventh in the Big 12 last year in total offense (2,266 passing yards and 500 rushing yards). This year, he’s a candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback.
“An athletic quarterback, everybody knows that’s the kind of guy who gives you the most trouble,” Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said.
“As a defensive end, defensive back, linebacker, you don’t want a mobile quarterback because that’s going to cause a problem,” defensive end Marcus Howard said, “but at the same time I think our defense is pretty fast so we’re ready for the challenge.”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy compared Reid to Georgia’s Matthew Stafford. Both players are Texas products who were expected to excel immediately.
Like Stafford, it took Reid some time. He redshirted in 2004 and completed just 52 passes as a freshman. Last year, he made the jump to a 55 percent completion rate and 24 touchdowns versus just 11 interceptions. And he’s still on the upswing, Gundy said.
“He has a much better grasp of the offense now than he had even in the bowl game in December,” Gundy said. “He’s matured, and he’s healthy. He should play well throughout the season.”
The Cowboys also are expected to play their backup quarterback, sophomore Zac Robinson, on Saturday. Georgia expects the two players to be in on the same play as many as 15 times in attempt to confuse the defense.