Linebacker Hassan Reddick left high school with no offers, but after a strong career at Temple he's projected to be a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft later this week.
Unlike the majority of his draft prospective peers, Hassan Reddick left high school as a zero-star recruit without any scholarship offers. While most would consider this as a sign to change career directions, Reddick marched full-steam forward.
"I wasn't recruited at all," Reddick recalled at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. "I suffered two injuries to the right knee in high school my junior and senior year which led me to not be recruited. I applied for Rutgers, and I applied for Temple. Rutgers didn't accept me. Temple did. I went to Temple, walked onto the team there, and made it my home."
With the help of the Temple coaching staff, Reddick fine-tuned his talents and developed his athleticism, going from a 185-pound walk-on safety to a starting defensive end as a junior in 2015 recording 45 tackles (12.5 for loss) and five sacks.
Reddick earned First Team All-AAC honors for his best and final season as a senior, where he finished third in the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss and adding a team-best of 10.5 sacks. After a skyrocketing college career, Reddick declared for the 2017 NFL Draft and should hear his name called Thursday night.
"At the end of the day, I'm a competitor," Reddick said. "That's what I like to do. That's what I do. There's no question about that. It doesn't matter who they put in front of me, or what they ask me to do. I'm just going to try to do it as best as I can."
The 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker is undeniably talented with experience ranging from running back to defensive back. Reddick spent his first starting season at Temple playing defensive end and dominated as a hybrid pass rusher his senior year. Listed as an outside linebacker, Reddick has shown success as an inside linebacker as well.
Check out these photos of Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.
"The versatility shows how athletic I am," Reddick said. "It shows I can do multiple things. It's more of the mindset and approach I'm taking to it that's going to help me the most. It's not necessarily because I'm versatile it's going to make me a good inside linebacker with the change, the way I'm going to attack the transition to being an inside linebacker, the things I'm going to do to make sure I am the best inside linebacker, at least the best rookie inside linebacker to come in next year, that's what's going to help me with the change."
In addition to his athleticism and versatility, Reddick was a top performer at the 2017 NFL Combine in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump and recorded the longest broad jump (11-feet, one-inch), best mark among defensive linemen since 2003.
Reddick has most certainly come a long way, and his draft value continues to ascend as he is now projected to be a first-round pick.
"The journey has been nothing but hard work for me," Reddick said. "A lot of people think because I'm here now, the work is over. The work for me is not over. I'm going to continue to work hard. I'm going to continue to make sure I have a prosperous career in the NFL. But, as far as the overall journey, I'm living in the dream, and I don't have to wake up. So, I'm extremely grateful and appreciative of this opportunity and I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in."