It was New Years Day 2016, 60,000 fans bore witness to an embarrassing performance as the Michigan Wolverines thrashed the Florida Gators 41-7 in the Citrus Bowl. A day that disappointed many Gator fans lead to a final decision as linebacker David Reese decided to make Gainesville his new home.
From a town right outside of Detroit, #Gators David Reese (@Dreese_33) explains why the season opener against Michigan is personal pic.twitter.com/eKDrWDy47U
— Savanna E. Collins (@savannaecollins) August 28, 2017
Reese grew up in Farmington, MI raised by a father who played for Michigan State. Unlike his father, Reese fell in love with the colors of navy blue and maize. It seemed like a sure thing he was on his way to play for the Wolverines. Fate had a different plan as a combination of factors led Reese to reopen his recruitment. To say this season opener against Michigan has special meaning to Reese would be quite an understatement.
Making an Instant Splash
Given a series of injuries to the linebacker corp late last season, Reese found himself as a starter. Reese quickly excelled as his starting debut ended with him totaling over 11 tackles against South Carolina. Starting four games last season, Reese totaled 49 tackles for his freshman campaign placing him as the fifth leading tackler.
Preparing for Michigan
The linebacker core lost talented members of the unit including Second Team All-SEC member Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone. With both Davis and Anzalone being injured down the stretch this allowed some returning letterman to gain valuable experience. Reese believes this group will be ready for anything aided by the intensity of camp and the Florida heat.
When asked about Michigan’s smash mouth style of football, Reese replied that they were ready for Michigan and have no running back type the Gators haven’t seen in practice. Florida has an advantage if Michigan plays this style returning only two starters on the offensive line, in addition, losing their number one running back De’Veon Smith. Reese does expect a big day for the defense and hopes to prove the Gators belong on the national stage.
A Match in Arlington
This is gonna be fun. pic.twitter.com/BUvlMDOW8c
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) August 28, 2017
The No. 17 Florida Gators are set to face the No. 12 Michigan Wolverines in Arlington, TX on September 2 as part of the Advocare Classic. The Gators lay their 27-year opener win streak on the line. Kick-off begins at 3:30 p.m.