NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Revenge is a confession of pain, so says an old Latin proverb.
Nebraska safety Antonio Reed will look to bring the pain on Tennessee in Friday’s Music City Bowl, still upset the Vols overlooked him during the recruiting process two years ago.
“Actually, that was my biggest thing getting ready for this game,” Reed told the Omaha World-Herald following the Cornhuskers’ practice on Monday.
“Honestly, I’m just hungry to show what I can do, show ’em what they should have did.”
Instead of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Reed, who hailed from just south of Memphis in Southaven, Miss., the Vols signed defensive backs Micah Abernathy (6-1, 187) and Stephen Griffin (6-2, 185).
Reed was ranked the No. 42 player in Mississippi and No. 1,976 player in the nation according to 247Sports, and his only other offer came from Memphis.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley is confident Reed is ready to handle the Tennessee offense.
“I think he’s poised to play a good game,” Riley said on Monday.
Reed is getting an opportunity to start because senior All-Big Ten defensive back Nate Gerry was declared academically ineligible.
“I think I’m ready for the opportunity,” Reed said. “I’m going to step up, so we’ll see how it goes. But I think it’s something the coaches are getting me prepared for, so I look forward to it.”
Reed had proven capable of stepping up before, filling in for Gerry in last year’s Foster Farms Bowl victory over UCLA after Gerry was ejected for targeting.
Reed had four tackles and a forced fumble in the win over the 37-29 win over the Bruins.
“I have about 18 or 19 family and friends coming up,” Reed said Monday. “You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to be starting, first game back home.
“I guess my time is now to show what I can do.”