Former Hurricanes S Anthony Reddick To Give CFL A Try
The B.C. Lions seem committed to playing a Canadian at safety this season, but Anthony Reddick hopes to change that way of thinking.
Reddick, who decided to forgo his final year of eligibility at the University of Miami and enter the 2009 National Football League draft, was one of two defensive backs whose signings were announced today by the Canadian Football League team. The other rookie defensive back is Dominique Williams, who appeared in 48 games over four seasons at Arkansas State before attending the New Orleans Saints mini-camp last spring.
Reddick, 25, made an immediate impact as a starting freshman safety with the Hurricanes in 2004, one of two first-year players on defence voted rookie of the year.
However, in 2005, Reddick tore his anterior cruciate ligament 22 plays into his sophomore season and missed the rest of the year following knee surgery. He ripped up his knee again in the spring of 2007 in a pick-up basketball game and missed an entire season of football.
Besides getting lots of sheet time in Miami, Reddick was suspended for another four games for his role in an infamous 2006 bench-clearing brawl with Florida International University when he swung his helmet, Braveheart style, at some FIU players.
With his helmet placed where it’s supposed to be, however, Reddick was an all-conference safety in his final year with Miami in 2008 when he finished the year ranked second on the Hurricanes with 67 tackles. But, needless to say, his college career didn’t live up to its early promise. Reddick was widely considered to be one of the best prospects in the state of Florida coming out of high school when he was recruited by Georgia, Florida, Ohio State and other top NCAA football schools.
“I came in with a lot of expectations and I set high expectations for myself,” he says.
Though the NCAA would have granted Reddick another season of college eligibility in 2009 based on his medical history, he chose to enter the NFL draft instead. He didn’t get selected but did get an invite to the Chicago Bears rookie camp. Reddick was subsequently released.
“On a professional level, I thought I was ready,” he says. “My body was ready, I was mentally ready — I was just ready for an opportunity. That’s the main reason I decided not to even bother to get NCAA approval for a sixth year.”
Reddick said he stayed in football shape throughout 2009 waiting for his next opportunity. It came in February of this year when the Lions worked him out at a free-agent camp in Hollywood, Fla.
“Football is still my passion,” Reddick says. “It’s what I do best and there’s still a lot of football in me. I’m ready for the opportunity to show that.”
At 6-0, 205, Reddick will have to make some very positive impressions in a hurry if he’s to catch the eye of the Lions’ coaching staff at rookie camp. Scouting reports say he is fast up the field (4.55 seconds in the 40) and a solid tackler with an aggressive streak.
Following the retirement of Barron Miles, the Lions indicated they intend to give Canadians Tad Crawford, Jason Arakgi or Mike McEachern a chance to earn the starting job at safety. The team also worked out free-agent safety J.R. LaRose, an Edmonton native, at a tryout camp last week.