Growing up in Dutchtown, the son of two former LSU track stars, Eric Reid has been a football star at every level and is now regarded as one of the top safeties in the country. Here he tells 225 about his LSU idol growing up, his own gridiron legacy and his favorite thing about playing in Tiger Stadium.
When you were growing up in this area and started playing football, what was your initial goal when you realized, “Hey, I'm pretty good at this”?
I've been fortunate enough to live my dream. Growing up in Baton Rouge and in Tiger country, this is where I always wanted to go.
I've wanted to go to LSU and play ball as long as I can remember.
When is the earliest memory you have about LSU football?
I can remember one Christmas when I was 7, and me and my little brother opened up our presents. I got an LSU plastic helmet and uniform, and he got the Saints. That was when I knew what I wanted to do.
Who was the Tiger you idolized when you were growing up?
Laron Landry. That was my guy. I loved to watch him play, and I've tried to imitate him for as long as I can remember.
My first thought was, I can't believe LSU want[s] me to play for their team. Once I got that offer, nobody else had a chance.
You said it was pretty much over when you got the letter from LSU, but what was the official visit like after you had been to so many games growing up?
When I came on my visit with my parents, that showed me a lot more about the school and how great it is academically, and that was important to me. [My parents] wanted to know all about what would help me as a student-athlete.
Once they saw what LSU had to offer, they were convinced there was no excuse for me to not do my work and be a great student.
You've played two seasons at LSU and have played in a lot of home games, so what's your favorite thing about playing at Tiger Stadium?
The coolest thing is to walk out of the tunnel into Death Valley with 92,000 people cheering for you. There's really nothing like it.
I can remember when I was being recruited and LSU was playing Florida, and some of their guys were stomping on the eye of the tiger in the middle of the field. It got so loud in there that I got a headache.
You got thrown into the fire as a freshman in 2010 and had some big moments. What's the one that sticks out in your mind?
My first big game was against Alabama my freshman season. I never imagined being put in that position as a freshman and having to play Alabama of all teams.
Fortunately, I was prepared and played well.
What's your favorite memory so far in your LSU career?
When the clock at the Georgia Dome went to all 0s and I knew we'd won an SEC championship, because I had never won one before.
What do you hope your legacy will be 20 years from now when people talk about your LSU career?
I hope they can say I was a hardworking guy who did the best he could for his team every time he stepped on the field.
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