Football lifelong passion for Reid

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

Fred Reid didn't have what you'd call a regular childhood growing up in Tampa Bay.

The Bombers running back spent the first part of his life living in his grandparents' house because his parents were living there, too.

When his parents left, however, Reid didn't want to go. His five younger siblings ended up being raised by his parents, who eventually divorced, but he stuck with grandma and grandpa.

"They moved out, and they said I wanted to stay with my grandma," Reid said. "I got attached to them. I ended up staying with them, and they raised me. I'm kind of happy it happened like that. They kept me on the right track."

Reid grew up in the rough part of Tampa, but football -- and his grandparents -- kept him on the straight and narrow. A big reason for his focus was his love of the game, which he started playing at an early age.

"I started playing football when I was five," Reid said. "I used to play all the time in the streets growing up with neighbourhood friends and stuff like that.

"It was kind of a rough neighbourhood. I went to high school and kind of made it out of high school when everybody else didn't. I would just focus on football. Everybody else was out doing their other things. I was just playing football."

It showed.

Reid became the first high school tailback in Hillsborough County to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He did it for King High School in 1999 and was even featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd section.

His grades weren't the best, however, so it looked like Mississippi Junior College was going to be his best football bet. Mississippi State University, however, waited for him while he got his grades up and eventually accepted him.

"They stood by me all the way to the end," Reid said. "Everybody else, they stayed away from me. That's how I ended up going there, because they were there with me to the end, until I passed all my tests."

His hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Reid in 2005, but that was also the same year they drafted Cadillac Williams. Reid was let go before camp.

After going back to school in Mississippi State in 2006 to finish his degree and start thinking about the real world, he ran into another former Bulldog, Bombers linebacker Barrin Simpson. Simpson mentioned that he was playing football in Canada.

The rest is history.


Videos

Photos