Geismar (La.) Dutchtown three-star safety Justin Reid is not ready to name any leaders at this point in his recruiting process, but he does know how he plans to get to that point.
The 6-foot-2, 193-pound defensive back has seen his opportunities grow considerably since the fall, and as he prepares for his senior season he has a plan of attack for the recruiting process.
"Well, me and my dad kind of have a game plan for how we're going to go through it," Reid said. "Right now, I'm kind of having an open door type of thing where I'm listening to everybody and what they have to say. You know doing research and checking out to see if what they're telling me is true or if they're just being fictional.
"Around when the season starts I'm going to narrow my list down to my favorite schools, which will be like a top 10 to 12, and throughout the season I'm going to narrow that down to five, which will be the five schools I take visits to.
"Then I'm thinking sometime in early January would be the time I pick a school to commit to unless something happens where I just throw this whole plan away. But that's the way it is for now."
It is easy to see from options such as Brown, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale academics are very important to Reid, and they will play a very important role in his future decision. However, there are other factors involved as well.
"Well I want to go to the school which will best prepare me for life after the school whether it be in being prepared for the NFL or not in football if it doesn't work out for me," Reid said. "So I'm not going to give up my education for football, but I'm not going to give up football for education either. I'm still going to try and put my best foot forward for football, but I still want to have a degree to back me up. You know anything can happen at any point, you have to be smart.
"Other than that it's about relationships. I want to go to a school where I feel comfortable. I like the coach. I know I'll be treated right. Actually my personal coach, my DB coach at Dutchtown, gave me a tip, and he said go find the player on the roster at the very bottom of the list and ask him how he's treated on a daily basis. And if he's treated well then you know everybody else is treated really well too. That's going to be the way I'm going to try and look into it. I want to go to a school that will best prepare me for life whether in the league or not and I want to be treated right too."
There are already a couple of coaches who have made a very strong impression.
"Yeah, coach Kevin Curtis from Texas Tech is by far one of the coaches I like the most on a personal level like aside from football," Reid said. "He's a really cool guy to talk to. I love talking to him all the time. And coach Akina from Stanford is a pretty cool guy too. He just transferred from Texas this year."
Texas Tech and Stanford are among the schools staying in close contact, but there is one school which has definitely stood out from an attention stand point.
"I definitely get the most tweets and stuff from Minnesota. They've been coming after me really hard," Reid said. "And I get an occasional phone call with Texas Tech and Mississippi State and then maybe a phone call once every two or three weeks with Utah State, and I'm just building a relationship with Stanford."
Reid has already camped at Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, and LSU in June. He is currently at The Opening in Oregon, and he only has a trip to Stanford currently scheduled before the start of his senior season.
"Stanford is actually a special case because if my brother didn't live 20 minutes away from them then I most likely wouldn't be going to this camp," Reid said. "It just so happened to work out to where I have a free place to stay and I'm actually a little bit curious, I'm intrigued, by Stanford. I want to get to know them a lot better. That's why I feel like 'ok, I've got a place to stay, I might as well take the visit.'"
The trip to visit his brother, current San Francisco 49er and former LSU standout Eric Reid, will not be the first time Eric has helped Justin during the recruiting process. However, like his parents, Eric is also quick to let Justin know the ultimate decision is his.
"Actually Eric tries to accompany me to as many of the visits and hear what the coaches are saying to me because since he's been through it he can kind of tell whether they're feeding me crap or telling me the truth and being sincere about it," Reid said. "But, no, the way my parents and the way I'm handling it is my dad told me it's all on me. It's my decision fully and they're going to support me the best they can. I mean they're going to help me. They're going to find out what people are telling me is true and all that, but when it comes to a final decision, it's entirely mine."