LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Just one play into Saturday’s all-star game in central Florida, Tennessee commit Shanon Reid was steaming.
“First play on kickoff, hadn’t even had a defensive snap yet,” said Reid, an outside linebacker from Dunbar High School in Fort Myers. “I was running to make the hit, and the guy went out of bounds, so I went out of bounds, too.
“There was this tarp, and as I was trying to slow down, I started sliding on the tarp and landed backwards, and my finger got bent all the way back.”
Reid, a 6-foot-1, 207-pounder, could feel his body’s defense system kick in as he got up. A quick look at the pinky finger on his right hand revealed a gruesomely bent digit — soon to be diagnosed as dislocated.
Immediately, Reid was taken from the North-South All-Star FACA Football Classic on Saturday at The Villages (Fla.) High School to an urgent care facility 15 minutes away.
“I wasn’t there at the game in the first half,” Reid said. “I had two shots for numbness on the left side of my joint, and the right side. Those were the longest needles I’d ever had or felt.”
Reid stubbornly refused to take off any more than his helmet and shoulder pads during the urgent care visit.
“I could understand (sitting out) if it was halftime, but I knew I had to play,” said Reid, who is graduating from high school early and will arrive in Knoxville on Jan. 8.
“Football is my life, and I was mad I didn’t get to play in the first half.”
Reid made the most of his opportunity in the second half, and his return helped rejuvenate the South as it rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to a 38-23 victory.
“I had three big hits,” Reid said. “But I also got to meet another Tennessee commit while I was there, Jacquez Jones.”
Jones, who is from Clearwater, Fla., scored two touchdowns and had a game-high 8 catches for 126 yards.
Reid said Jones did a front flip into the end zone after his first touchdown and followed with a salsa dance after his second.
In addition to capping his high school career with a win, Reid found value to the experience because of his friendship with the fellow Tennessee commit.
“That’s someone I’ll spend the next three to four years with, so now we already have a bond and we’re cool with each other,” Reid said.
Another Fort Myers star in orange?
Reid said he’s hoping that Fort Myers High School tailback Darrian Felix joins up with the Vols.
Felix, a 5-foot-11, 194-pounder is considering Oregon, Tennessee and North Carolina, among others.
Felix had 10 carries for 55 yards in Saturday’s all-star game.
Reid remembers Felix being a handful when his Dunbar team played Fort Myers this season.
“He can really cut back, so if you give him that cutback lane, he will take it,” said Reid, who had 13 tackles in the win over Fort Myers this season. “You have to stay on your feet and break down as soon as he does.”
Reid and Felix became fast friends when they visited Tennessee on the same weekend, Nov. 12..
Naples’ Tyler Byrd was Felix’s host, while middle linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. put Reid under his wing.