COUNCIL BLUFFS — Like most prep football stars, Alex Reed wanted to become an NCAA Division I player.
After a stellar junior season, the Lewis Central standout went from camp to camp to prepare for a senior year in the spotlight.
Reed rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns in each of the first three games the Titans played. He was having a big fourth game when it all ended.
Reed broke his collarbone in the second quarter against Atlantic. His season was over. His chance to show his ability was too.
Division II schools were interested, and he did receive scholarship offers. But the D-I dream stayed.
Reed continued chasing it by signing with NJCAA champion Iowa Western on Wednesday. He said spending time on the sideline this fall gave him some perspective.
“I’m excited about the future. I’m excited about what Iowa Western has going. And I’m excited to move on to that part of my life now,” he said. “I think it made me a stronger man. I never really faced true adversity. ... It makes you realize what you value.”
After playing running back and quarterback during his prep career, Reed will become a full-time receiver for the Reivers. He headlines a class of in-state recruits that coach Scott Strohmeier said is his best at Iowa Western.
Reed said he and the other in-state recruits will attempt to follow the path of quarterback Jake Waters, who went from an unrecruited prep star to signing with Kansas State after Iowa Western’s title run.
“Jake Waters is the story,” Reed said. “If you don’t go straight to Division I, you’ve got to go juco and then to a big Division I school. They’ve opened up all those doors.”
Reed will be joined at Iowa Western by other top players from Council Bluffs. All-state selections Dominic Wilson of Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Hawk of St. Albert also signed with the Reivers, as did T.J.’s Brett Sprinkel and Michael White and L.C’s Derek Jenkins and Luke Harrison.
Iowa Western also landed more players from Nebraska than it has previously. Mike Milenkovich of Millard North, Zach Martin of Omaha North, and Najee Jackson and Devin Washington of Lincoln Southeast are among the signees.
“We’ve had good success in Nebraska,” Strohmeier said. “We haven’t had a ton of them, but we’ve had good success with those kids. With the success we’ve have and the opportunities our guys have had, it opens up some doors for some other opportunities.”
Lincoln Southwest graduate Tay Bender, who went to Kansas State out of high school, is on the list of mid-year transfers. Those players are already on campus and will participate in spring football.
Letters of intent: Iowa: Gabe Vandenberg, Keokuk; Alex Reed, Council Bluffs (Lewis Central); DeMetrius Harper, Cedar Rapids (Prairie); Cody Poock, Okoboji (Spirit Lake); Zac Gillis, Cedar Rapids (Washington); Jacob Shoultz, Muscatine; Jimmy Hawk, McClelland (St. Albert); Tad Steffensen, Marshalltown; Josh Clark, La Porte City (Union); Mitch Duve, Dubuque; Sam Marcov, Ames; Tyler Lloyd, Muscatine; Trevon Young, Des Moines (Lincoln); Zack Clement, Muscatine; Tyler Brooks, Muscatine; Ian Begg, Ankeny. Out-of-state: Michael Milenkovich, Omaha (Millard North); Zach Martin, Omaha (North); Najee Jackson, Lincoln (Southeast); Devin Washington, Lincoln (Southeast); Merrick Jackson, Cahokia, Ill. (Althoff); Delshawn Dukes, Rosevil, Minn. (St. Clair Shores South Lake); DaShaughn Terry, Blue Springs, Mo.; Gerry Green, Dayton, Ohio (Thurgood Marshall); Carson Ayers, Cincinnati (Anderson); Trey’Vonne Barr’e, Jenks, Okla.; Maurice Glasgow, Washington, D.C. (Dunbar); Jonathan Moore, Tampa, Fla. (Thomas Jefferson); Aaron Jenkins, Tampa, Fla. (Thomas Jefferson); Wesley Bullock, Tampa, Fla. (H.B. Plant); Joe Sanders, LaGrange, Ga.; Darius Smith, LaGrange, Ga.
Letters of commitment: Iowa: Mitchell Cox, Dunkerton; Andrew Davis, Marion; Brady Drees, Exira (Exira-EHK); Azell Fuller, Clive (Des Moines Roosevelt); Riley Gardner, Cedar Falls; Mitch Green, DeWitt (Central); Mark Hall, Malvern (Fremont-Mills); Luke Harrison, Council Bluffs (Lewis Central); Brian Heard II, Des Moines (North); Derek Jenkins, Honey Creek (Lewis Central); Alex Killpack, Glenwood; Caden Lovik, Mason City (North Central); Trey Mateer, Norwalk; Michael Mayberry, Boone (Ames); Jacob McMartin, Jesup; Terry Mooty, Cedar Falls (Dike-New Hartford); Tyler Petersen, Spirit Lake; Samuel Pickard, Cambridge (Ankeny); Reilly Redmond, Bernard (Cascade); Abu Sama, Des Moines (East); Brock Skow, Hiawatha (Kennedy); Brett Sprinkel, Council Bluffs (Thomas Jefferson); Kyle Stephenson, Tama (South Tama); Aaron Van Dyk, Parkersburg (Aplington-Parkersburg); Nicholas Walker, Boone (Ogden); Max Weber, Muscatine; Michael White, Council Bluffs (Thomas Jefferson); Dominic Wilson, Council Bluffs (Thomas Jefferson); Brennan Hartley, Lansing (Waukon); Alex Hillyer, Cedar Rapids (Kennedy); Drake Menuis, Eddyville (Eddyville-Blakesburg); Dom Thompson-Williams, Sioux City (East). Out-of-state: Dan Green, Grand Rapids, Mich. (West Catholic); Malcolm Moore, Exclesior, Minn. (Minnetonka); Akeem Roller, Woodbury, Minn. (Cretin-Derham); Dillon Gartner, Giltner, Neb.; Clayton Lange, Ord, Neb.; Maurice Moore, Lincoln (North Star).
Mid-year transfers: Tay Bender, Lincoln, Neb. (Kansas State); Javon Williams, Chandler, Ariz. (UCLA signee); Milo Jordan, Corona, Calif. (Arizona State signee); Marcell Frazier, Portland, Ore. (UNLV signee); Jaime Byrd, Dade City, Fla. (TCU); Marcus Caffey, Atlanta (Kentucky); Jonathan Reed, Indianapolis (Kentucky); Dijon Starr, Blaine, Minn. (South Dakota State); Mitchell Hester, Neptune Beach, Fla. (Vanderbilt).