Another Duquesne player? Yes, and there is good reason. The Dukes are a team with plenty of quality talent and should have some players going to the NFL over the next few years. Reid Harrison-Ducros is one of these.
Reid Harrison-Ducros stands at 5’11 and 185lbs, which means he is considered undersized as an NFL cornerback. But when you really look at it, “undersized” is not really a thing anymore in the NFL. Nickell Robey-Coleman is so far having a pretty good career in the NFL for the Bills and stands at 5’8 as does Jamarcus Joyner for the Rams. So as long as you have talent, size isn’t a big issue. Harrison-Ducros has talent.
He started his NCAA career at Boise State back in 2016. In his two years there, he put together 26 solo tackles and 6 assisted, but then, having only started four games in his sophomore season, decided to change the direction of his career for academic and other reasons, which led him to Pittsburgh to play for Duquesne.
There it is. Told me a few years ago he prides himself of being a leader, team player and a hard worker, on the field and in the classroom. https://t.co/cDuvHyRpeW
— RobertJPfeifer.com (@RobertJPfeifer) November 16, 2017
In his first 8 games for Duquesne, he had 21 targets come his way and has only allowed a total of 57 yards, leaving a passer rating of 39.58 when targeting him, This truly puts opposing receivers on ‘Reid Island’.
Even before college Reid had accolades to his name. He was a three-star recruit and rated the number 66 player at his position. Reid was a member of the USA under 19 national team that defeated Canada 33-0 in the International Bowl. He was also named a scout.com second-team all-state selection in Texas as a high school senior. The fact that Boise State, a school that always recruits pretty well for a non-Power 5 conference, took him on shows he clearly has a lot of talent. He also received offers from 11 other colleges, including North Texas and Yale, while garnering interest from Wisconsin and others.
One thing that could be said for Reid is he had the perfect ‘team’ coaching him throughout his career. His father Gary is incredibly supportive and enabled Reid to get support from Super Bowl MVP Larry Brown (Dallas Cowboys) and defensive back guru Clay Mack (who has trained many NFL stars including Jamal Adams). I was lucky enough to speak to Larry Brown to ask him what he sees in Reid since he has been coaching him since he was young.
“Reid has come a long way; he has put on some size, got a lot bigger and a lot faster. I would consider Reid a technician and I would probably classify him as a cover corner, a true cover corner who can play press coverage; he is a highly skilled ‘technique guy’ and that is his strength. He competes; he works hard and is a great kid that has a high football IQ as well as a high general IQ. Reid shows incredible leadership skills and is just a genuinely good person. He is low risk in relation to character and will never have off-field issues. He could play both inside as a nickel and outside as well; I think he is good enough to do both. He is just fundamentally sound.”
So what do I see when I watch his film? Basically everything that Larry said about him. He has good, quick feet, he will compete with any receiver in front of him regardless of size, and he will force quarterbacks to throw the ball to the other side of the field due to his ability to stick with the receiver. The fact that he is endorsed by a Super Bowl MVP speaks volumes about his talent. He is also fast, completing a shuttle in 6.33 seconds which would have been good enough to be the 2nd best time in the 2018 NFL Combine.
— Gary Harrison-Ducros (@GaryDucros) June 19, 2018
I was able to catch up with Reid and find out more about him:
So Reid, tell me a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Houston, TX, then moved to Grapevine, TX when I was around 6-7 years old.
How old were you when you started playing football?
I’ve been playing football since I could crawl, but I started playing organized football at 7 years old.
Growing up, did you always want to be a football player?
Yes, that’s always been a part of me to be a football player; and plus living in Texas, it’s just a way of life. I even have baby pictures of me in a football jersey.
When you started at college, what made you choose Boise State?
I chose Boise State coming out of high school because I believed it was the best fit given my skill set. Looking at previous players at my position and seeing that they were my build, as well as Boise State as a whole, my family and I decided that this was my best choice.
Obviously now you are at Duquesne. What is it you are studying there?
Right now I am majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), with a minor in Business. I’m also very happy to share that I have an internship lined up this summer, for the Jordan brand at the Nike Headquarters in Oregon!
In football, what would you say is your proudest achievement to date?
My proudest achievement to date is allowing 4 catches for 45 yards my entire Junior high school season. That’s obviously not all by myself, because the front 7, as well as the secondary around me, was a huge part of that accomplishment.
On that note, what is your proudest achievement off the field?
My proudest achievement off the field is my grades. I was Academic All-State in high school and plan on being Academic All-American this year.
You have received coaching both by the fantastic coaching staff at Duquesne, but also some NFL guys like Larry Brown and Clay Mack. What is it like to be coached by a Super Bowl MVP?
It’s truly a blessing to have so many people that have walked the path that I’m aiming for right around the corner. Coach Larry Brown has taught me so much about the intellectual parts of the game, as well as he has taught me life lessons for off the field. Having a Super Bowl MVP and multiple other great football minds all within driving range as well as willing to help me on my journey, all I can say that I am extremely blessed.
Have you ever played other positions or have you always been a cornerback?
Yes, I actually grew up playing RB, WR and CB all my life up until the 10th grade. I quickly realized that my then 145-pound body wasn’t big enough to be a varsity RB in Texas High School football. So I dropped my RB dreams and stuck to CB. I did play WR and held for field goals my senior year of high school. I can still hold for kicks, too.
Where are you more comfortable? On the outside, or covering the slot?
I’ve always played on the outside mainly, but I’ve started to cover in the slot beginning this year and I like it a lot. I’m to the point where I would be comfortable playing both inside and out.
What aspects of your game do you think help you succeed the most?
I think that my knowledge of the game helps the most. Being able to break down a play or eliminate possibilities that the offense can do before the ball is snapped is huge. From alignment to down and distance, to the WR splits, those all definitely help.
Do you study any NFL players and try to base your game on them?
Oh of course, I feel like you have to. For me, I’ve always modeled my game after Darrelle Revis. NFL guys that play your position are where you want to be, so whatever they’re doing, you need to study them and see “Okay, they’re doing this or playing this release like this”. You can pick up little things from different players to then elevate your own game.
Who would you say is the biggest inspiration in your life?
Biggest inspiration? My parents easily. From where they came from, to the amount of sacrifices they’ve done for me from their jobs to driving me to practices, to helping me grow constantly day in and day out, it’s insane to me. They inspire me to be the best I can every day period.
If you could play alongside any former NFL player, who would it be?
If I could play alongside any NFL player, I’d say it’d be cool to play alongside Chris Harris of the Denver Broncos. He’s one of my favorite players to watch because his build is like mine, he’s a technician and he can play in the slot and outside.
This may sound ridiculous, but I have always wondered. Is it more difficult to play on the “smurf turf” of Boise State than it is on a normal green field?
Haha, no you get used to it; it’s cool, but it’s just a football field just like everywhere else. It’s definitely an awesome experience though!
Finally, you won’t be entering this year’s draft. But is there any team, in particular, you would be most excited to be drafted to in next year’s draft?
Any team to be honest. I was born a Saints fan since my dad is from New Orleans, but I’d be beyond thrilled to play for any team!
So where do I see him getting drafted? To be honest, it is too early right now as he still has another season on top of what is left of this season. I am told that Reid won’t be making the common mistake of FCS players and be entering the draft as a Junior, which means he will be entering the 2020 NFL Draft. I would love to say that he will go in the middle rounds of the 2020 draft, and I strongly believe he has the talent to back that up. But with another year to go, he has a great chance to continue performing at a high level and start getting on all NFL teams radars to climb draft boards.
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @DFF_JamesH for any football talk. I would like to say thank you to Gary Harrison-Ducros (@GaryDucros), Larry Brown (@lbrownofficial) and of course Reid (@rducros27) for providing me with information for this article.