I spoke with Tampa Robinson OL Richie Reay this morning. Reay seemed really excited about joining FIU in the summer. Reay cleared up any confusion about where he intends to play football, “I’m going to FIU, no matter what happens,” he said.
There is an interesting story behind Reay getting offered by FIU. Reay had never played a down of varsity when FIU offensive line coach Alex Mirabal offered him a scholarship.
Mirabal was at a Robinson practice to watch another offensive lineman. Reay had just started playing football his senior year after taking a break to get back into shape. After watching practice for a while, Mirabal walked over to Robinson coach Mike DePue and said he was interested in Reay.
“[Mirabal] likes me because I’m nasty and I get after it,” Reay said. “I’m a big body and get nasty.”
Q. When you met coach Mirabal, was that the first time you heard about FIU?
A. First time I had ever heard about FIU.
Q. Describe that meeting?
Q. Had you ever played varsity before?
A. Nope, never.
Q. What did he say he liked about you?
A. He likes me because I’m nasty and I get after it. I’m a big body and get nasty.
Q. How did you get back into football?
A. From 10th to 11th grade I moved away to my grandma’s [house] in Virginia. I had to move back down here. I did not feel like I was in shape to play football. I took that year off and worked out. That’s when I got big. Then I came out for spring and the rest is history.
Q. Did you play football growing up?
A. I played Pop Warner. I played line backer and corner. I was just BSing around as a little kid.
A. I think either criminal justice or sports medicine.
Q. Anybody in your family play sports?
A. Nobody, I’m the biggest in my family and the second youngest.
Q. What other offers did you get?
A. I got offers from Middle Tennessee, FAU, Western Kentucky and New Mexico. Indiana was really after me but I was committed to FIU.
Q. How strong is you level commitment level to FIU?
A. I’m going to FIU, no matter what happens.
Q. Did you expect the recruiting process to go so smooth?
A. To be honest, I did not plan on playing college football. Apparently, I’m pretty good. The offers started to come. I was just playing with my friend and having a good time.
Q. What do you like about the FIU o-line?
A. They're nasty. They went from the 107th in rushing to like 28th. They are a nasty group. They don’t give up sacks. I feel I fit right in with them.
Q. How would you describe you playing style?
A. Nasty and aggressive. I like to get after it and put someone on their back.
Q. How tall, how much do you weigh?
A. 6-5, 280 lb
Q. You played a full senior season?
A. Yeah. It was fun. We had a good team. We went 8-2 and 2-1 in the post season. We lost in the game before the state final. We should have won but we didn’t.
Q. Have you watched FIU play?
A. They are an up incoming team. They just won their first bowl game. I’m excited about the future. I want to take them to four more [bowl games].
Q. How was your visit?
A. I took it on Jan.7. I had been on an unofficial visit during the season. It was great. I love everything about it. I love the dorms. The coaches are great. It’s going to be a great fit for me. It’s going to be a fun four years.
Q. Had you ever been to Miami before?
A. My grandma lives in Fort Lauderdale, so I had been there one time before.
Q. How did you like Miami?
A. It was great. It felt like home to me.
Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. Just like to chill and work out. Work out and football, that’s my life.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. This recruiting class is going to put FIU on another level. We are going to go to four more bowl games.
Q. When do you plan on coming down?
A. Summer B.
Q. Have you heard anything about playing time?
A. I’m going to have the opportunity to compete. My goal is to start as a true freshman. That’s my goal.