Rocky Reid had a season he will never forget last year. The Concord High running back ran into the Cabarrus County record books with 3,355 yards and 39 touchdowns.
Reid was a major part of a Spiders team that went 15-1, with their only loss coming in the 3A state title game to Havelock, the same team that beat them in the 2012 3A title game.
Despite the success of 2013, the Concord senior still plans on topping last year.
This spring, he committed to Tennessee, choosing the Volunteers over Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.
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Reid also did a lot of work in the weight room, adding 15 pounds of muscle. The 6-foot, 222-pound Reid said he is bigger, stronger and faster.
“Everything that we’ve accomplished together just makes me want to work harder and get better,” said Reid, who runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash and can bench 275 pounds. “I think it about every time I take the practice field, every time I’m in the weight room and even when I’m just sitting around bored. You always have to be getting better.
“We want to get back to states and come home with it (a championship) this year. I think we can be even better and I can be even better this season, because we’ve continued to work harder and harder this offseason.”
Reid, 17, averaged 210 yards rushing and three touchdowns per game last year. He and Concord head coach Glen Padgett expect many of his teammates to take on bigger roles as the opposing team focuses on Reid.
Reid’s cousin, Concord junior quarterback, Keenan Black, stepped up and will need to be even better than his 1,603 yards passing and 20 touchdowns from a year ago.
Black will look to receivers like sophomore Hamsah Nasirildeen, junior Drew Yoos and senior Denzal Gilmore, a Mount Pleasant transfer.
“As coaches, we know teams are going to be eight and nine guys in the box and try to take away our running game,” said Padgett, who has 53 wins in his five seasons at the helm in Concord. “We have to able to pass the ball and we’ve worked really hard to this summer on that part of our game. Of course, if we can do that, it will also open some things up for Rocky.”
The Spiders will also need the help of the offensive line with senior center Austin Motsinger, a three-year starter, part-time starters in tackles Heath Droze and Mike Goertzen, and transfers Chris Webb (Northwest Cabarrus) and Nick Leverett (North Rowan).
“I actually give all the credit my line, because they open up all the holes,” said Reid, whose favorite running backs are the Seattle Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch and Georgia’s Todd Gurley. “I just have to be patient and let things happen.”
Reid doesn’t have to look far for daily motivation. His father, Jermaine Reid, is the Concord defensive line coach. The two compete daily in practice to see who will return home with bragging rights.
Rocky Reid’s main goal is to get back to the state championship, where his team came close to tying a 21-13 game last year, coming up just one-yard short of a touchdown as time ran out.
Reid knows to get back to that point will take a team effort, and his coach loves his star running back’s team-first attitude.
“As great a player as he is, and after all the accolades he’s gotten, he is still and even better person,” Padgett said. “His success is always a ‘we’ success, not a ‘me’ success. His biggest motivation, like the rest of our team, is to get back to that championship game and win it. We know just to get back to that point is going to take a lot of work.”