On March 28, Florida Football hosted Pro Day on campus. Fourteen Gators and two Former-Gators had the opportunity to showcase their talent and skill to NFL recruiters, scouts, and coaches. One of those players was offensive lineman Stewart Reese, pleased with the numbers he put up on Monday afternoon.
He previously displayed his skill in the Hula Bowl, an annually held post-season college football all-star game.
Massive OL from @FloridaFootball, Stewart Reese, will be showing how to use his rare size and good strength to keep his QB protected next week in the Bounce House. @DraftDiamonds are found at the #HulaBowl @SAGECards @draftguyjimmy @scott_nfl pic.twitter.com/zHNfNaY1xo
— Hula Bowl (@Hula_Bowl) January 3, 2022
Career as an Offensive Line
Reese previously played for Mississippi State for the first four years of his college football career. He committed to Florida in 2020 and came in as a redshirt senior for the 2020-2021 season. Playing as an offensive line, you must be aware of what your teammates are doing each other’s assignments.
“If everything else goes out the window, we have to stick together,” said Reese. “If one of us messes up, it can turn the tide of the game. We have to work together regardless of what is going on in the game.”
Regardless of who is in the backfield, offensive linemen have to be flexible with the scheme. Even though different quarterbacks have different skill sets, they must adapt and execute.
Not a lot of recognition comes to the players who play offensive line. If there is a great run, it is the back that gets recognized, leaving a lot of room for misconceptions about the position. They tend to take the load of the ridicule given to the team because of the importance of their position.
“A lot of people think that if a play goes bad, it’s because the offensive line did something wrong,” Reese explained. “But there are many times that a quarterback or a running back may make a bad read or a receiver may run a wrong route.”
What does Stewart Reese do in the game?
The play is called in the huddle, the quarterback breaks the huddle, Reese goes to the line of scrimmage, what happens next?
Stewart Reese explained how depending on the scheme the defense is running, you sometimes can tell what they are going to do based on their alignment.
Defensive end: “If a defensive end is at a tilt instead of just facing us in the line of scrimmage you can tell he is going to go inside, go to power, or speed to power.”
Linebackers: “Then you watch the alignment of the linebackers to see whether they are bringing pressure or blitzing.”
Safeties: “Then you watch the safeties to see where they are rotated because a lot of times the safeties will tell you whether they are bringing pressure or if they are going to drop into coverage.”
Reflecting on his time at UF
Although Reese is proud of the work he has put into the team, he is taking so much more from the Florida football program. The main lesson he is taking with him is to have a consistent, hard-work ethic. Regardless of what life throws at you, keep going and pushing until you end up with the breakthrough you were looking for.