That’s how it was for Avon Grove (Pa.) and Duke’s LC attackman and midfielder Bryce Reid, who admitted the slightly turbulent nature of his recruiting process before thriving in the fall tremendously and ultimately settling on Bob Shillinglaw’s Delaware Blue Hens.
Contributing at either attack or midfield, Reid is a player who has been spectacular at both positions, having put up 26 goals and 28 assists as a freshman attackman. In 2014, he was an essential component for the PIAA state runner up Red Devils, putting up a 32-goal, 29-assist sophomore campaign in a banner year for the District 1 champions – Reid’s spring highlights can be seen at the link.
His importance to the Red Devils will skyrocket as the squad lost 18 seniors, including a pair of Under All-Americans at attack and goalie who now play at Penn State. One of his Duke’s LC coaches, Jason Christmas, anoints Reid as one of the offensive leaders for a tough Avon Grove squad and praises the play of the 5-foot-10, 155-pound prospect who also strongly considered St. Joseph’s, Lehigh and Drexel.
“Bryce is probably one of the most versatile players in the Philadelphia area’s 2016 class,” Christmas says. “His ability to be a playmaker at attack one minute and be a dangerous threat off-ball from both the midfield and attack are special. Many underestimate him due to his size but usually they pay the price with his cagey abilities behind the net or when he unleashes his quick release up top.”
I touched base with the touted junior last week to hear more about the recruiting process and his decision to be a Blue Hen.
Why did you decide on Delaware?
There were a lot of attractive factors about Delaware, the first being its proximity from my house which is about 50 minutes. I’m very interested in their business school and that’s another strong suit of UDel. I really loved the coaching staff, Coach [Byron] Collins did an awesome job recruiting me and came into the program with a great reputation and philosophy with the hopes of getting the program a national championship. Coach [Bob] Shillinglaw is obviously a great coach and has so much background knowledge that was so different and better than how everybody else recruited me.
How was your visit?
When I went to the campus and met all of the coaches, right then and there I knew that it was the place for me. Coach Collins gave me a tour of the amazing athletic facilities and I came away very impressed with the stadium, indoor facilities and locker rooms. After that, Coach Shills showed me the beautiful campus and I absolutely loved it having never really been on the campus much.
Knowing how many other 2016’s are committed, did you ever feel anxious or nervous during the process? How did your fall campaign solidify things?
For me personally, it was a lot of ups and downs with some coaches saying that they wanted me then saying the next week that they found another guy. It’s definitely hard after seeing a bunch of kids on my high school and club games committed, but I just went out there and let the game come to me like Coach Ebe [Helm] said. I really tried to work hard and knew it would all pay off in the end.
After I participated in the HEADstrong-Mesa game, I had a good amount of coaches e-mailing me. At QuakerFest, I thought I played very well so that sped up the process because a lot of coaches contacted me and it made them wanna jump and say ‘come to our school’. It was a great feeling when college coaches want you but once I had the Delaware offer I picked it up right away.
Who would you like to thank for getting you to where you are?
Adam Mueller has been my mentor, coaching me when I was little and teaching me the game. My Avon Grove coaches – Erik Jackson, Brian Wallace and Dan Deckelbaum – all really helped me, [former Blue Hen standout] Dan was great in talking to the Delaware coaches in particular. Also, my Duke’s coach Ebe Helm has a great reputation with college coaches so it’s really nice playing for him. My mom and dad have been incredible with all of their support and love, putting all that money and time to play so many camps and tournaments so that’s been awesome.