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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Devonni Reed, S, Central Michigan

Devonni Reed has been a consistent leader and captain for Central Michigan. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Devonni Reed
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 197 lbs.
  • Position: Safety
  • College: Central Michigan University
  • Twitter: D5REED
  • Instagram: _dxr_2

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My experience at Central Michigan has been good to me. I couldn’t have asked for better. Coming from high school it was a bit different because it was a bigger team, and it allowed me to make a lot of friends and connect with many people.

My major is in Social Criminal Justice. After football, I hope to get my masters and become a Clinical Sociologist.

During my first 2 years and CMU, I participated in the Special Olympics. That was a fun event to be part of.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would say that I’m very consistent. I come to work every day with the same energy and motive. I’m always at 100% no matter what day

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’ve been a team leader that my coaches and teammates can depend on. I’ve been a 4 year starter and a 3 year team captain.

We run a base 4-3 scheme, and I’ve played both free and strong safety. I’ve been in the middle of the field and rolling down in the box. I’m comfortable with both field and boundary sides although typically I stay in one spot on game day.

I’ve also been a consistent special teams contributor. I’ve played safety and gunner on kickoffs, and I’ve been on the front line on returns my whole career. I had a forced fumble covering a kick against Akron in 2019, and I was also able to interrupt a kicker in 2020 which made him miss a field goal.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Jaret Patterson is by far the best RB that I’ve played against in the MAC. He has good balance, speed, and a low center of gravity that helps keep him upright.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Khalil Pimpleton, Troy Brown, Troy Hairston and George Douglas are just some of the teammates that have impressed me. They come to work every day bringing energy and leadership that allow the team to succeed.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, our team went 1-11. We were ranked the worst team in college football. That was just a heart-wrenching experience. Everyone on the team gets labelled “bad” after a season like that. That entire coaching staff got fired, and we started fresh with new coaches in 2019.

We had to find a way to turn this around. I took on a leadership role and had to mature a lot sooner than expected. So, I trained more, ate better and got more into the mental aspect of the game by studying better in the film room. I was among the leaders that took the initiative to put the team on our backs and carry us forward.

We ended up turning the program around and increased our standards. We created a championship culture and ended up MAC West Champions and going to our conference title game. During the opening kickoff of the title game, I went out with an injury. I didn’t want to let my teammates down. After sitting out for a few series, I was able to come back and finish the game. I had to wear a brace and a lot of tape for the rest of the game. That took a lot of mental adversity for me to keep playing.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Track. I participated in track & field all throughout high school. I was the anchor on our 4x400m relay team making it to the conference finals. My personal best in the 400m was 51 seconds.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of our turnaround here at CMU, changing the culture and creating history. My biggest achievement is being a 4 year starter and a 3 year team captain.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, I played my first game against Kentucky. It was a very loud environment. It was so loud that the turf beads were bouncing off the ground. On the first play, we were in a cover 4, and were focused on a run heavy team. I was keying on the QB, Terry Wilson, who is a very mobile athlete. They were showing Gun Strong, changed into Gun Weak, and I anticipated an R.P.O. coming my way. The ball was snapped, the crowd went quiet, the QB pulled the ball out for a run, and I made my first tackle which was for loss.

I also scored my first touchdown in that game. The QB threw the ball to Lynn Bowden who let go of the ball after being hit by Mike Danna. I caught the ball before it hit the ground and I ran it in for a score. I finished that game with 14 tackles and was named the MAC Freshman Player of the Week.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Being from Detroit, I’ve supported the home team, the Lions. Budda Baker is one of my favorite athletes. He’s all over the field. He hustles every play, and he’s fearless, bringing aggressiveness and physicality. He also has a great game IQ, and it shows.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
I like old school R&B. Johnny Gill is one of my favorites. I don’t really listen to anything before games. It’s just me and my thoughts, going over plays and film.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My mom’s chili. She makes it spicy with a lot of love. I like eating it with Townhouse crackers.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio. One of the shows that I like to watch is I Am Athlete.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I like to cook. I also love nature and enjoy being outside with my mini Australian Shepherd. As for hobbies, I enjoy working out and listening to music.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play because I fell in love with the game at a young age, playing ball in the backyard with my family and friends. The people that motivate me are my mother, sisters, niece, nephew and my 3 week-old daughter. I hope to leave a legacy and help provide for them in the future.

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