Oct. 8, 2003
Georgia Tech backup strong safety Chris Reis never knows how much playing time he might get in a particular week, but the sophomore will make the most of his opportunity, whatever it is.
Reis and the Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-2 ACC) travel to Wake Forest (3-2, 1-1 ACC) for a key Atlantic Coast Conference contest Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Groves Stadium. The game will not be televised.
“It doesn’t matter if I get in for one play or 70 plays, I’m just going to give it my all,” said Reis, from Roswell, Ga.
Last Saturday’s win over NC State was one of those games where Reis took his opportunity and ran with it. He played nearly 50 snaps–by far his most extensive action on defense–as the Yellow Jackets’ defensive scheme often employed six defensive backs to counter the Wolfpack’s high-powered passing attack.
Reis responded with a very productive effort – eight tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup. He also recovered a fumble on kickoff coverage to help set up a score. Reis and the Tech defense held the Wolfpack more than 20 points below their scoring average and limited NC State to minus-eight yards rushing.
Head coach Chan Gailey appreciates Reis’ contributions.
“He’s such a versatile player,” said Gailey. “He can rush the passer, he can drop in coverage, and he’s smart. He can get up there and fake the blitz and then drop back, or act like he’s in coverage and then come on the blitz. He’s a good football player.”
Even in games when he plays very little on defense, Reis’ value on special teams cannot be overstated. He plays on virtually every unit, several of which are comprised primarily of freshmen.
“He’s my captain out there,” special teams coach David Wilson called Reis. “He goes out there and plays the way a good special teams player should.”
“I play special teams, and that’s my role,” added Reis, a Dean’s List student who serves on the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board.
“I know my role, and I accept my role, and I’m going to play it full speed with 100 percent effort every time.”
Still, Reis was feeling a little different this Sunday than most.
“I was tired on Sunday, and I was glad that I was tired,” he said. “I like being sore on Sunday morning when I wake up.”
Reis knows that in order to make the most of opportunities on Saturday afternoons, he and the Yellow Jackets must take care of business on the practice field.
“They always say that the game is won on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, not Saturday,” he said. “That’s true with our team. If we don’t go out and practice well this week, than we won’t play well on Saturday. The coaches know that too because they are starting to figure us out and know how to motivate us to prevent it from happening.”
As the Yellow Jackets prepare this week for Saturday’s game, Reis will be ready for whatever the game plan calls for.
“I know that Coach [Jon] Tenuta is going to come out with a great game plan,” said Reis. “I don’t think we’re going to stop being aggressive, or back off on our aggressiveness, we’re going to continue to be aggressive and just attack at different angles.”