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Temple's Haason Reddick Is Trying To Follow Tavon Young's Lead

Posted Feb 10, 2017

Temple DE/LB Haason Reddick didn’t get a scholarship until his senior year. Now he’s a possible first-round pick. Reddick took note of good friend and Ravens cornerback Tavon Young, who proved doubters wrong during his rookie season.

At last year’s Senior Bowl, the Ravens fell for an undersized, scrappy cornerback out of Temple named Tavon Young.

Baltimore came away so impressed that it drafted Young early in the fourth round, and Young made the move pay off, as he became a quick starter and was arguably the Ravens’ most impressive rookie.

Fast forward a year, and the Ravens watched another undersized Temple product, defensive end/linebacker Haason Reddick, stand out from the pack of senior prospects. 

Reddick was one of the week’s biggest winners, and is now being projected as a late first-round pick by NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah.

Reddick’s trying to follow in the footsteps of Young, with whom he is still good friends, but will come off the draft board well ahead.

“That’s one of my best friends that I ever had a relationship with,” Reddick said.

“Hopefully people see that when you get a Temple guy, you’re going to get a hard worker. Hopefully they don’t overlook us anymore. We can ball.”

Just like some doubted Young could play outside cornerback at 5-foot-9, 177 pounds, Reddick has doubters because of his size. He measured in at 6-foot-1, 237 pounds. That’s a couple inches taller than Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, but 13 pounds lighter.

It means that Reddick may be too small to play defensive end in the NFL like he did in college, where he had his hand in the dirt. Reddick would have to stand up in the Ravens defense, and he even spent much of his time at inside linebacker at the Senior Bowl.

Reddick has also been overlooked for more than his size. A knee injury during his high school senior year limited him to four games and evaporated his chances for a scholarship. He ended up going to Temple as a preferred walk-on.

It wasn’t until after his third year at Temple, when he notched 46 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks, that he finally got a scholarship.

“It was hard, it was a struggle, but I wanted to play football,” Reddick said.

“I paid for school because I wanted to play football. I didn’t get recruited, nobody forced me to play. It was something I wanted to do because I love the sport. Me being able to do what I love, it was worth it. I don’t have any regrets.”

Reddick stood out in Mobile because he was flying around the field. His speed was evident both in moving forward to get after the quarterback and going backward when covering running backs out of the backfield.

In an NFL that requires linebackers to be able to cover and rush, Reddick’s athleticism seems tailor-made to make him an eventual three-down player and immediate special teams contributor. Reddick said he tries to model his game after Denver Broncos game-wrecker Von Miller.

Reddick said he came to Mobile to prove that he could hang with the higher level of competition considering Temple doesn’t play in the big five conferences. He said he spoke to the Ravens at the Senior Bowl.

“Coming from Temple, people think Temple is a small-time school or that we don’t have the best athletes,” Reddick said. “I think me and [offensive lineman] Dion [Dawkins] came here with something to prove, and we proved it this week.”

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