DETROIT – Looking ahead to Thanksgiving dinner with his family, Wayne State University student-athlete Drake Reid hopes he measures up in at least one of the “who’s the best” debates around the dining room table.
But Reid, a third-generation college football player who led the Warriors’ defensive secondary in tackles this fall, is quick to concede one likely conversation: Who’s the best athlete in the family?
“That’s a tough one,” said Reid, a two-time Warriors team captain. “My grandpa might have it though. Just the fact that he was a 100-yard champion, I’d have to go with Grandpa because I’ve heard a lot of stories about him. He was a fast dude.”
Reid’s grandfather, Dorie Reid Sr., was so quick on his feet that he was recruited as a football player and track athlete at the University of Michigan. It was in Ann Arbor that he won two Big Ten Conference track titles in 1965: the 60-yard indoor and the 100-yard outdoor races.
Meanwhile, Reid’s father, D.J. Reid, was the leading receiver for Central Michigan University in 1993. He finished second in the Mid-American Conference with seven touchdown receptions.
If Drake Reid is third in the family football debate, he’s definitely top-seed worthy when it comes to the classroom. A graduate student in the Mike Ilitch School of Business, Reid was named a semifinalist for the William Campbell Trophy, which is presented to college football’s top scholar-athlete.
“Oh, man, I’d like to think that I’m in that academic conversation,” he said, “but my grandfather went to Michigan, so I’d assume that it was pretty challenging for him academically, too. But I would be remiss if I didn’t at least consider myself for that spot.”
Reid is the epitome of a student first, athlete second. He’s successfully juggled two highly demanding classroom and gridiron schedules. And despite the challenges, he managed to earn a bachelor’s in finance last December – just three and a half years after graduating from Rochester High School.
“It’s crazy to think that I was able to do what I did throughout my college career and stay on track,” Reid said. “The fact that I’m getting recognized for it, really, is just an incredible honor and makes me proud.”
Reid, who maintained a 3.89 GPA as an undergraduate student, is on pace to finish his master’s in May. From there, he hopes his college-to-career path will blend two of his favorite interests: investment planning and sports.
“I would really like to have my own wealth management firm that caters to pro athletes,” he said. “It would be a cool way to use the things that I’ve learned and my passions to help out athletes in their time after athletics, and how they leave their legacy for their family.”
Reid said he’s grateful for the assistance he received from Wayne State’s Student Support Services, including Academic Advisor Kim Clexton, Learning Specialist Maria Sepúlveda, Deputy Athletic Director Candice Turner and Associate Athletic Director Kelsey Voss.
“A lot of different people that have helped shape me, whether it was my study habits or just my mindset and how I approach school,” Reid said. “Then, just being here year-round, working on football, I was able to take some classes in the summer and get ahead. I also had some credits transfer from high school, which helped.
“But my freshman year, I was like, ‘Why not try to get as much school done as possible while I’m getting my scholarship?’ So, that was the goal, and I was able to do it quickly, and now I’m getting my master’s at least partially paid for. That’s not something that a lot of people can say.”
Reid admits that the challenges haven’t been easy but have been great lessons.
“There have been a lot of different times where you meet difficult challenges you don’t expect to face, especially as a student-athlete,” he said. “You expect so many of your hardest challenges to be on the field, but in reality, a lot of them come in the classroom. Just handling those and trying to work through them helps you grow so much as a person.”