E.J. Reid Is Lone Returning Starting Defensive Lineman For Aggies
Aug. 17, 2006
LOGAN, Utah - As the only returning starter on the defensive line, a lot is expected of Utah State junior tackle E.J. Reid this season. Gone is fellow tackle Brian Soi, a freshman All-America in 2005, as well as end John Chick, who ranked fifth in the country in sacks last year, and end Jarom Fano, who had 28 tackles.
While Reid is the only returning starter, he is joined on the line by a pair of two-year letterwinners in Frank Maile and Ben Childs. In fact, Maile and Childs earned both their letters on the defensive line, while Reid spent his freshman year at USU on the offensive side of the ball.
"I don't consider myself the only (returning) starter because Frank has had a fair amount of reps so I consider him a returning starter as well," Reid said. "We have to step it up this year because we lost a lot of key guys."
Reid, who came to USU from Kahuku, Hawai'i ahead of the 2004 season, has been a contributor from day one. Two weeks before the season opener his freshman season, he was moved to the offensive line after practicing on defense. He played in the season opener and then started the second and third games of that season at right tackle. Against Clemson, he fell on a fumble to score a touchdown.
Last season, the 6-1, 300-pounder returned to the defensive side of the football where he started the first 10 games. He was credited with 25 tackles, including 3.5 for loss. In his first collegiate game on defense, he recorded five tackles, including a sack against Utah.
"E.J. is a young player who needs to develop into an every play defensive linemen and a dominant force for our team to be successful," said defensive line coach Danilo Robinson. "He has the potential to do a lot of great things."
The quiet Reid, realizes he needs to improve for the team to do well and he has been one to catch the eye of Aggie head coach Brent Guy at a number of practices this fall.
"I have to step up, grow up and be a leader," Reid admitted. "I am not young anymore. I am a junior and I need to step it up.
"I am getting in better shape and trying to be a better leader and be a better example for the younger guys," he said. "I am trying to be a leader by example."