March 8, 2010

Reihner discovers Cardinal ties

As a top-notch student Kevin Reihner had Stanford on his intial list of schools he planned to research as he plotted his next four years.

What Reihner didn't know was all of the Cardinal ties he has.

The interest from Stanford didn't talk long after seeing film on the 6-foot-3, 275 pound guard from Scranton Prep in Pennsylvania.

"It happened very quickly," Reihner said. "Coach (Vic) Fangio and I actually grew up on the same street and my coach knows him pretty well and once he got hired at Stanford we gave him a call and asked them to look at my tape.

"They called my coach the next day and said 'we are really interested'. I called them and talked to coach Fangio, coach Roman and coach Harbaugh, and he told me I was being offered. And the next day I got a package that had an offer in it."

His father, George, was the second round pick of the Houston Oilers out of Penn State in 1977, and played four years in the NFL as an offensive guard.

"My Dad played with Andrew Luck's dad in the NFL," Reihner said. "Played for the Houston Oilers."

To complete the ties with Stanford is a friend from high school.

"A friend of mine, a pitcher from my high school goes there, Elliot Byers, he just raves about it," Reihner said. "He just had Tommy John surgery last year and is trying to get back. But he loves it there."

Does Byers talk about the distance from home?

"It's a positive that Stanford in northern California but the negative is that northern California is 3,000 miles from my house. But he tells me that you can get homesick, but you go out and it is 70 or 75 degrees every day so you get over it."

Reihner was pleased to find out all the surprising info on the Cardinal.

"There are several ties I didn't know about and when I made the call, I was 'wow, there is a lot going on there'," Reihner recalled.

Reihner and his father are planing an April 9 trip ro Stanford to learn more about the campus and football program.

"I am going to some school camps and take some visits to the schools I am interested in," Reihner said. "I have kind of narrowed it down some now, the less people you have involved the easier the decision is."

The lineman hope to have his decision made before he begins his senior season and focus on football.

"Yeah just worry about playing football and not worrying about visiting places during the season and talking to people and coaches," Reihner said. "It will just be good to know where you are going. And god forbid anything happens during the season there would only be one person you needed to talk to about it. Just makes things a lot easier."

Reihner listed some of the top areas he will focus on when choosing his school. And he has a clear idea of what he wants from a university and football program

"I want to be in a medical program that is well-renowned. And when I told coach Harbaugh about that he was real excited, he said that Stanford has the #1 biology department 14 years running so that is huge.

"I want to be somewhere we are going to win some games. I don't necessarily have to go to a proven power-house but if I could be a pert of a program on the rise or help put it over the top I think that would be even more special than going somewhere that is already established and is expected to win game every year. There would be more personal pride in that.

"And just somewhere I could be four or five years and have a blast. Coaches that I am comfortable with. Its all about football and what you do on game day but there are hundreds and hundreds of hours that you are going to be spending with those guys when you are not playing and if you cant enjoy those you are going to be pretty miserable.

Reihner brings a tough, hard-nosed mentality to his game. Something Stanford fans will enjoy and Stanford coaches look for.

"My strength lies in the demeanor of run blocking," Reihner. "When I say I feel like I have good feet and can develop to be a good pass blocker but no lineman worth is weight in sand is going to say he prefers pass blocking. I want to go somewhere we are going to run the ball and run the ball a lot. And they (the other team) knows we are going to run it and we do it well anyway.

"That is why I am interested in places like Pittsburgh and Stanford. Where they are going to run the ball a lot and it is about power, where the passing game is off of the running game. Where I can pull and do that kind if run blocking, that is just what I do. I want to be a lineman on a running team, put my hand down in the dirt and fire off the ball.

Reihner already holds offers from NC State, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Rutgers, and plenty of other schools are very interested. One notable name missing from the offer sheet thus far is his father's alma mater, Penn State.

"They are talking to me and I am going to go on a visit once their spring practice starts," Reihner. "They are telling me they like to take things slowly and that they are high on me. So we will see what happens. They will definitely be a contender when and if they do offer. But I cant really worry about things until they come."

Reihner did have a favorite Stanford game from the 2009 season.

"I watched the ND game, and after they beat USC and Oregon they really started getting hype. And that ND game was exactly the kind of offense I want to be a part of."

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