Saturday, November 8, 2008

To finish is even greater than to start

You might remember the Miami-FIU football game back in 2006 when the two teams emptied onto the middle of the field in a brawl that featured one Miami player swinging his helmet around like a weapon.

That player was Anthony Reddick, a member of the All-ACC freshmen team in 2004 before missing all of the 2005 season rehabbing a torn ACL. For his actions that day in 2006, Reddick was suspended for four games and had to complete community service.

Finally ready to return for the Canes, Reddick tore the ACL on his other knee during a pick-up basketball game. The injury kept him out all of '07.

Despite the obstacles, Reddick, who is now a fifth-year senior, "has become a friendly, smiling, hard-hitting leader at safety for the Hurricanes."

Said Reddick:

"I've learned a lot. First of all, I'm blessed for the opportunity to come back and play. My behavior [during the FIU fight] was a disgrace to my school, my family and my friends, especially the young kids who look up to me as their role model. I do understand that what I did was wrong. I've overcome most of things I've gone through and I've found to finish is even great(er) than to start."

According to UM coach Randy Shannon:

"Me and Anthony talk all the time about everything, not just what's going on in football but life in general. As a coach, you're always educating, making sure you never forget about where a kid's been. Guys make mistakes, but you have to make sure they understand that there's gonna be disciplinary action that comes with it.

He's been through a lot. With a guy who's been through as much as he has, you gotta make sure he's always able to communicate about his issues. Sometimes, things you may share with him you may not like it as a coach; but you gotta look at it from the viewpoint of where he's been at in his life."