Cedric Reed has learned to make his height an advantage on the football field.
Cleveland coach Clayton Maple said the 6-foot-6, 245-pound defensive lineman specializes in rushing the passer, using his long arms and quick first step to move past offensive linemen.
"He really has a lot of intangibles for a defensive lineman," Maple said. "There's a tendency for players to play too high when they're 6-5 or 6-6. Those guys who are 6-foot offensive lineman and can squat the house, they might be able to get under your pads and drive you.
"He's worked hard on using those arms to learn to get some leverage. He doesn't look at that as a disadvantage. It hasn't been a problem yet."
Reed does most of the driving. The Texas commitment recorded 88 tackles and 12 sacks in 2009.
Maple said Reed is also an smart, instinctive player who excels at stopping the run.
"We were doing inside drills, he used that first step, went down the line and wrapped up one of our running backs about a half-yard behind the line of scrimmage," Maple said. "When he saw that kid had the ball, he was down there in a hurry, in the blink of an eye."
Reed also will play tight end this season.
Maple said Reed has run the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. He was recruited by several schools in the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference before choosing Texas. "He had quite a few offers," Maple said. "He just wants to be a Longhorn."