Fresh off of the 2013 NFL Draft, media outlets have been saturated with draft grades, predictions and analyses of the newest class of rookies. And while all of that chatter is expected and makes for an interesting read, there's another crucial element to these young gentlemen as they enter the National Football League: who they are as people.
Looking at players' lives outside of football can give you a more comprehensive perspective of who they are and, in turn, who they can be on the field.
In this segment, we'll profile some of the 49ers rookie draft class and what their lives are like off the turf. We begin with the 49ers first pick, and the 18th overall selection of the 2013 NFL draft, 49ers safety Eric Reid.
Bio (per lsusports.net)
Full name is Eric Todd Reid ... Born Dec. 10, 1991, in Baton Rouge, La. ... Parents are Eric, Sr., and Sharon Reid ... Has three siblings - Christina, Ryan and Justin ... Father was a three-time All-American hurdler for LSU from 1984-87 and is a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame ... Father was the NCAA champion in the 110-meter hurdles as a senior in 1987 and he holds the school record for the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.50 seconds ... Majored in business administration.
Maturity: The first thing that jumps out to me is maturity. Reid proudly held his three-year-old daughter, LeiLani, as he and Roger Goodell hoisted his jersey onstage in Radio City Music Hall. In doing the simple math, he must have had his daughter when he was 18 years old. That's an incredibly huge responsibility to take on; especially as a full-time college student, athlete, and above all: an 18-year-old kid. There are plenty of stories about guys in the same situation who abandon their kids or decide they aren't going to be a major part of their lives. Reid apparently represents the exact opposite of that. If he's willing to take on the daunting challenge of raising a daughter during such a busy time of his young-adult life, you can bet that kind of maturity is pervasive throughout other facets of his life, and hopefully it translates to the field.
Toughness: Reid is no stranger to playing through pain. In his sophomore year, Reid suffered a partial tear to his quadriceps tendon and only missed one game. He re-aggravated the tendon in 2012 and didn't miss a single game. On top of that, Reid dinged up his shoulder during his junior season but played the entire year and showed good toughness. Now, this of course can be seen as an on-the-field attribute but in my mind, toughness is more mental than anything else and it usually applies across the board. What it shows me is that he's got the guts and determination to overcome adversity, and the willingness to sacrifice himself for the benefit of the team.
Strength/Dedication: Reid won the Alvin Roy Strength and Conditioning Award while attending LSU, a testament to his work ethic and dedication to get better. Everyone loves a weight-room warrior, especially Jim Harbaugh. He'll fit right in with the likes of Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Colin Kaepernick, and all the other gym rats on the 49ers.
Community Activism: According to his Twitter/Instagram account, Reid partook in an NFL Play60 event. NFL Play60 encourages youth to be active for 60 minutes per day in an effort to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity. The 49ers, like all NFL teams, are very active in the community. Reid will fit right in and can serve as a great role model for youths in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as around the globe.
Car Enthusiast: On the lighter side of things, a quick sift through Reid's twitter account reveals that he's an automobile aficionado. He has several pictures of various models including Aston Martin's, Mercedes, Porches and BMW's. Of the latter, he noted the unforgivable faux-pas of someone dressing their 5-series as an M3.
Stay tuned as I continue to dig for information and offer up insight into the personalities of the 49ers' newest crop of rookies.