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D.J. Reed: “Just watch my film, I’m a lock-down corner first and foremost”

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The 49ers fifth round pick has a humble JuCo background but that just made the chip on his shoulder bigger

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers fifth round pick from Kansas State didn’t have much contact with the team prior to the draft. In fact, D.J. Reed thought the pick was “kind of random.” He says that San Francisco got a player who has a huge chip on his shoulder who came from humble beginnings. His path to the NFL was anything but conventional. He walked on at Fresno State after receiving no offers and was unsatisfied enough to leave and take the JuCo route at Cerritos College. He shared a two bedroom apartment with seven other guys before receiving several offers and finally choosing Kansas State.

Here’s the full transcript of his conference call:

How much did you talk to the 49ers leading up to the draft?

“Not that much honestly. It was kind of random. I’ve been talking to like Tennessee, the Falcons and other teams. The Niners, I wasn’t expecting the Niners.”

What did they tell you when just talked to them about any kind of role that they have envisioned for you?

“Yeah, they just said, when I got the call, they said we’re going to draft you, we love your film. I’m going to play on the inside. So, whatever I can do to help the team win, I’m going to do it.”

Can you describe your game for us for people who are unfamiliar with you?

“Yeah, I would just say I’m a playmaker, man.”

General manager John Lynch just walked in and yelled behind our group while we were talking to you. He said he liked that you’re a playmaker. So, what makes you a playmaker?

“I mean, you just watch my film, I’m a lock-down corner first and foremost. I don’t get scored on and then I get interceptions, I get my offense the ball and I’m a physical tackler. I create turnovers, which is the main thing, and I also do very well in kick return, punt return. So I mean, I feel like I’m the whole package. I’m an athlete, really”

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey from Fresno State to Juco to Kansas State?

“Yeah, my college process wasn’t easy to say the least. I walked on at Fresno State, had zero offers out of high school. I left Fresno State, went to Juco at Cerritos Community College. I played for them for a year and I was fortunate to get out, had a lot of offers. Committed to Kansas State. My first year at Kansas State, I got First-Team All-Big 12, defensive newcomer of the year, led the conference in pass breakups. Coming back my next year I was Second-Team All-American at corner, punt return, kick return, First-Team All-Big 12. I’m a playmaker, like I said. I feel like my film, my stats, speak for themselves. I’ve got a big chip on my shoulder, being a fifth-round draft pick. Being a fifth-round draft pick, I honestly feel disrespected but I’m blessed the 49ers picked me up and I’ve got a lot to prove still.”

Can you tell us what living with eight guys in a two-bedroom apartment did for you?

“Yeah, it just makes you humble, makes you more hungry, makes you appreciate everything. Even when you get to D-1 or the NFL, it just makes you just appreciate everything you get. I don’t take anything for granted. I have a lot of humility, and like I said, I’m hungry, so I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming my way, and my faith is really strong with God.”

Growing up in Bako, did you follow the 49ers? Were they your team?

“No, honestly, I was a Colts fan growing up for whatever reason. I liked [former NFL QB] Peyton Manning and all them. So the 49ers is a good look. They’ve got [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo], my boy [LB] Elijah Lee is there. You guys are rebuilding. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming over there.”

It was funny you said that you feel you have a chip on your shoulder, disrespected for being a fifth-round pick. Are you aware that your new teammate, CB Richard Sherman, same thing, fifth-round pick and he’s talked about that a lot?

“Yeah, that’s definitely going to stick with me until I’m done playing. I don’t know, man, I just feel disrespected. But like I said, I’m happy, but I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove. A lot of corners went before me and that’s definitely going to be something I’m going to remember.”