LAKEWOOD RANCH — Austin Reiter isn’t a fan of cold weather.
So it’s not all that surprising that the Lakewood Ranch offensive lineman visited a number of southern universities before committing to play football for the University of South Florida last month.
Reiter, who graduated from Lakewood Dec. 18, received offers from 14 different schools, including Miami, the University of Central Florida and Wake Forest, among others. But after taking an official visit to USF last month and talking with Jim Leavitt and the rest of the Bulls coaching staff, Reiter decided USF would be the perfect fit.
“It seems like you get a lot more playing time and with their recruiting — they’ve got the most potential,” Reiter said. “I really liked coach Leavitt and the coaching staff seems pretty solid.”
Reiter, who played all four years for the Mustangs, first learned about the possibility of graduating early last May during a visit to Georgia Tech University. Reiter looked into what would be required of him, which consisted of taking a few online courses.
He decided to pursue the opportunity in hopes of getting a jumpstart in his preparation for both football and college life.
“Anytime you put kids in a major program, it’s a (positive) from a publicity standpoint,” Lakewood coach Shawn Trent said. “Now, he’ll have the opportunity to be in class a month or two before spring practice and be able to learn the program as he goes.”
Reiter received his assignments Jan. 6-7 and will start school Jan. 11. In addition to a demanding course load, Reiter, who plans to major in engineering, plans to spend a lot of time working out in the weight room and hopes to eventually move up on the Bulls depth chart.
“I don’t know what to expect yet, but that’s kind of good on a level,” Reiter said. “It’ll help me get used to everything — mostly the weight room — and it’ll help with my workload at school.”
Contact Jen Blanco at email@example.com.
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Coats for kids
Knights of Columbus Councils are helping children in need by providing coats to children in their communities through the order’s Coats for Kids program.
Santa and his elf made a surprise stop Dec. 13, at WineStyles, in San Marco Plaza, by Harley-Davidson motorcycle, during the store’s weekly Friday night wine-tasting event.
Members and guests of the Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club ventured Dec. 4 to Orlando, to view holiday decorations at the Grand Floridian and to have lunch at Downtown Disney.