Keith Reaser Known at FAU for Ball-hawking
By Taylor Price
To examine the San Francisco 49ers 12-man NFL Draft class, 49ers.com checked in with a college coach of each pick. We continue our series with...
Sean Taylor's cousin.
His name is Keith Reaser, and he was the second of two fifth-round selections of the 49ers. Reaser starred at Florida Atlantic University, but he suffered a torn ACL in October of his senior season that cut a productive collegiate career short.
Reaser, a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback, played in 40 games and made 32 starts for the Owls. He totaled 158 tackles, five interceptions and one fumble recovery for FAU. Reaser was so athletic in college that he used to tease former FAU tight ends coach, Jared Allen, about being good enough to play offense.
Reaser probably could have played on the other side of the ball, but his talents were best suited on defense. As a senior, Reaser appeared in six games (five starts), recording 26 tackles and two tackles-for-loss before suffering his season-ending knee injury.
Reaser underwent two knee surgeries this offseason when it was discovered at the NFL Scouting Combine that his knee needed to be fixed again. Reaser is currently one of four players and three rookies on San Francisco's Active/Non-Football Injury List. The 23-year-old will likely remain sidelined for his rookie year. Reaser, however, has intriguing talent - he was clocked at 4.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Reaser could potentially help the 49ers for years to come.
To get a better sense of Reaser's skills on the football field, we phoned Allen, the Owls' former assistant coach and current director of player personnel and external relations.
"When Keith came to FAU, I had him on my scout team," Allen said. "Keith came in and showed a lot of skill right away. He was underdeveloped size-wise, so he didn't play as a true freshman. He redshirted, but, he had enough skill to play on the offensive side of the ball. Obviously he played on the defensive side of the ball and he played well. He did a great job and showed early promise of being a great player, but he was young.
"You could tell he had a little attitude to him. It wasn't a bad thing. He had a little chip on his shoulder – it was healthy. He wasn't a kid who was negative towards his team. He was good and he knew it. It just took some time for him to develop."
"By his senior year," Allen said, "he was peaking at the right time. It's a shame that the injury happened when it did. It was bad because of what he meant to our team and to our defense. And it was because we knew he had a future in football."
"Keith was always around the ball," Allen said. "He always made plays. He was just a guy who was long and it was hard for receivers to get a good release off of him. And he had great ball skills; he could always make plays when the ball was around him. Some defensive backs don't have those ball skills, but Keith did."
"I think the 49ers are an awesome organization for Keith to join," Allen said. "It's a great opportunity for him. It's a great place for him to get healthy and for him to start his career. Being drafted in the fifth round after playing half a season and having two surgeries, you wish to see how early he would have been taken if not for the injury."
[ Edited by DeUh on Aug 23, 2014 at 1:03 PM ]