CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dominique Reese lined up against Steve Smith, one of the NFL’s premier wide receivers, ready to show what he has learned.
The first time they matched up, Smith caught a short pass that Reese couldn’t have stopped. The second time Reese covered his man (albeit Smith was wearing sneakers) he forced an incompletion.
Reese was one of several NFL draft hopefuls, including former Georgia Tech teammate Joshua Nesbitt, working out with current and former NFL players in Charlotte, N.C.
“I’m just trying to learn as much as I can,” Reese said.
After playing safety as a sophomore and junior, Reese moved to cornerback last season and led the team with 10 pass break-ups. Though his agent, Robert Walker, said Reese could play either in the NFL, Reese said he’s enjoyed focusing on cornerback during this training camp, which started the second week in January and will end the first week of March.
“It’s been a huge help,” Reese said. “I’ve been taking some of the stuff coach Groh taught. He taught me so much in that one year. I’m thankful for him. He coached in the NFL, so he knows what they are looking for.”
Reese wasn’t invited to any of the senior games or the NFL combine. His best chance to catch a scout’s eye will come at Tech’s pro day in March.
“I expect him to run around 4.4 40 [yard dash],” trainer Darin Tyson said. “He’s one of the guys that wants to do the right thing, he’s easily coachable. You just have to slow him down [sometimes] to put him in the right position.”
Helping his training has been that he’s finally healthy. He played with a shoulder injury that so bad he couldn’t bench when he arrived in Charlotte. After working with their medical staff, he said he’s now throwing up 225.
Reese graduated with a degree in management. He wants to play the professional football so badly, he turned down two job offers so that he could come work out to give it a shot.
“It’s always been a dream, always been a dream,” he said.
– Doug Roberson, AJC
Note: I apologize that I haven’t had a new blog in a few days. On Wednesday I drove to Charlotte to interview Nesbitt first thing Thursday morning. When I arrived, there stood Reese. Thursday afternoon was spent driving back, and then I came down with a nasty sore throat and body ache that forced me to bed for the past two days. Sitting in my hotel in Durham, N.C. Sunday afternoon was the first chance I’ve had to work on stuff with a somewhat clear mind.