Thomas Reid had a quietly effective season as a wide receiver at Radford last fall.
However, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior is starting to generate noise out in the recruiting universe. The University of Hawaii made him a scholarship offer on Sunday, just 24 hours after hosting Reid and several other players on “junior day” at the Manoa campus.
Reid had 33 receptions for 619 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Because Radford plays in Division II, the scope of recruiters wasn’t quite so vast. Yet, the University of Washington was actually the first university to inquire.
“UW was hot on him,” Radford coach Fred Salanoa said. “One of their coaches, Keith Bhonapha, asked, ‘Who is this No. 15?’ ”
Bhonapha is a former defensive back from UH (1999-2002). He’s now a running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the Huskies.
“He said, ‘I’m watching the film. I like this kid. Can you send me the transcript?’ UH asked about (potential) recruits and I told them about Thomas,” Salanoa said.
Salanoa rattled off some nice numbers: a 4.5 40-yard dash time at the Nike Sparq Combine; a hand-held 4.4 time at the Blue-Grey Combine; and good times for Radford’s track and field team in the 200- and 400-meter runs.
“I’m not surprised about the offer because I know him. He’s very aggressive. If there’s a 50-50 ball, he’s going to win it,” Salanoa said. “He’s cut out like a college player already. He’s a legit 6-2. He’s gets the whole picture. He’s got good grades, the commitment, the work ethic and a great attitude.”
Reid, who takes AP classes, has a 3.3 GPA, the coach added. His potential is sky high.
“He could become like another Ashley Lelie because of his speed, jumping ability, and he’s a lot quicker than Ashley was,” Salanoa said. “He’s chiseled and a lot of that comes from his work ethic.”
Lelie played at Radford — before Salanoa became head coach — before blossoming at UH under then-coach June Jones, He was a first-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2002 and played seven seasons in the NFL. The scoreboard at Radford’s John Velasco Field was donated by Lelie a few years ago.
Salanoa, who played quarterback at Eastern Washington, has his share of connections. Pete Kwiatkowski, who recruited Salanoa to EWU, is the defensive coordinator at UW.