Darrin Reaves is engaged to success

Story posted April 9, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio, NFL Draft by Patrick Woo

“It’s hard not to take that, considering the circumstances,” the father of University of Alabama-Birmingham running back Darrin Reaves told an Alabama newspaper.

What Darrin Reaves Sr. was speaking of his a draftable grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Reaves said his grades ranged from fourth round to seventh round.

Reaves, the 5-foot-10, 210 pound junior, declared early for the NFL Draft, skipping his senior season. The circumstances that his father spoke of - not winning enough and a new head coach - may have played a part.

UAB won eight games in the three years that Reaves spent there but he said he sees the bright spots and “the film I had over those years allowed me to take the next step.”

Reaves grew up in Birmingham and followed in his father’s footsteps by playing football at UAB. He and his father became the first father-son duo in UAB football history. His father was also a running back.

On being close to home in Birmingham, Reaves said, “It’s great to be able to be around people that helped you grow. They’re able to see their work prosper, everything they put into you.”

Reaves’ brother is also on the UAB football roster. It was all football all the time in the Reaves household.

“We played football in the house before or after dinner,” Reaves said. “In the hallway, we might try to do a spin move.”

Reaves was an all-conference performer in his breakout sophomore season and is an under-the-radar prospect that’s gaining some buzz with 28 NFL teams attending his Pro Day but he did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine.

“I wanted to be able to go that national stage and show what I could do,” said a disappointed Reaves. “But I had some scouts come out (to Pro Day) and I really just had my combine at UAB.”

Reaves led UAB with 928 rushing yards on 201 carries and a team-leading 12 rushing touchdowns in 2013. He could’ve been poised for a bigger year in 2014 but a new staff was coming to UAB and Reaves knew that it was time to go.

“I felt like I was a draftable candidate,” he said. “The fact that they felt I could go as high as the fourth round or as low as the seventh round, that didn’t really mean that much to me. All I’m asking for is a chance.”

And when that chance comes, Reaves knows he’ll be successful. His Twitter handle, @Engaged2Success, may say it all.

“Success was something that was going to happen with the hard work you put in,” he said. “I feel like eventually success was going to come.”


Patrick Woo is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email pww5053@psu.edu.