TAMPA – Having heart and grit is something that isn’t easy to find, but Cambridge Christian athlete J’Kobi Reddick is packed with both. The rising senior enters his second season with the Lancers and is destined for an even better year.
Earning offers from Charleston Southern and Bethel earlier this month, Reddick’s market is starting to pick up. He also has interest from Iowa State, Samford and Alabama-Birmingham.
The 5’8″, 181-pounder has bulked up from 175 lbs. this off-season and feels good at that weight. Playing all over the field, Reddick made a huge impact in first year at Cambridge following a transfer from Tampa Catholic.
He totaled nine touchdowns (five receiving, two rushing, two returning), 1,017 all-purpose yards, 34 tackles, five interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 2015. Lining up as a slot receiver and an outside receiver, Reddick also has a role in the backfield on jet sweeps and end arounds.
On defense, he plays cornerback where he had a pick in five straight games last season spanning from Oct. 2 to Nov. 13. He played the position as a sophomore on for Tampa Catholic varsity where he had 500 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Reddick is the Lancers main kick and punt returner and is a threat to take one back at any point.
He also is a member of Cambridge track and field something he says “helps a lot with his endurance and speed.”
Reddick calls his 2015 campaign a very good experience.
“I got to get the ball in my hands and make some plays,” Reddick said. “I got to be on defense make some good plays. I had a really good season and I’m hoping to have an even better year.”
Taking a trip to Charleston Southern at the end of this month, he is also heading out on a bus tour along with his teammates next month where they’ll visit Clemson, South Carolina, Florida and USF. Reddick will take a trip to Samford the following month as he looks to stay busy all summer long.
Last season, The Lancers advanced to the Class 2A state championship in Orlando with a perfect 12-0 record, but they suffered a 61-16 loss to a seasoned University Christian group. Reddick called the season something special as Cambridge Christian made history all season long by recording the school’s first district title, first region title, first state title game and first appearance in the postseason on the way to a 12-1 showing.
“At the beginning of the year I was getting to know everybody and we realized that we can actually go far. Everybody was putting in work stay after practice running routes. We were doubted every single game going up to states so that gave us a lot of motivation to prove a lot of people wrong.”
Reddick enjoyed a fun season with the Lancers and says he transferred from TC simply because he needed to go somewhere where he didn’t know too many people. He turned his focus to academics. Reddick still stays in touch with his friends at Tampa Catholic including members of the football team Bentlee Sanders, Darius Corbett and Devan Barrett and basketball star Kevin Knox.
Starting his football life at age 8, Reddick broke his pinky then and switched over to baseball. Then in eighth grade he picked up football again and says that’s where he truly fell in love with the game.
Here’s why Reddick loves the game of football.
“The games are hyped. I like the practices they are actually kind of fun to me because they make me better. You practice good and you are going to be good in the game..
I like building a relationship with the coaches and getting to know more people. When you play football you are going to get to know a lot of people and that is a great thing.”
He says he gained confidence in his game last spring.
“I started training with my coach Antonio [Williamson] for Top Notch Training. I was quiet and shy. He built me up to the person I am now throughout the whole spring and summer. Now, he’s pushing me a lot harder because he knows I can get to the places I want to be.”
What are Reddick’s biggest strengths?
“Getting the ball in the open field, one-on-one I like to make people miss, catching, covering man to man and zone, tackling and blocking.”
What is the one thing Reddick is looking to improve in his game this season?
“My route running. When I get tired it is sloppy. I know in college they’re going to want you to go 100 percent on every route. I have to make sure they are crisp.”
Reddick relishes his relationship with head coach Bob Dare. Dare is entering his eighth season as the man in charge at Cambridge. Over the last two seasons, he’s helped the Lancers post a 20-3 record.
“Coach Dare is hands down one of my favorite coaches ever. The way he makes a play call, it seems almost every play he picks it works. He always has a plan a, b and c. He’s a good coach and breaks down everything you need to know. He teaches you well.”
Offensively, Reddick plays alongside two highly gifted players in rising juniors, running back Andrew Cunningham and quarterback Jaylen Jackson. He calls playing with the two leaders a lot of fun.
On Cunningham: “I love when Andrew gets the ball he just breaks a tackle. You can tell when Andrew is about to score. I don’t know if anybody else can tell but I can because he just gets the ball and he hits the hole. He makes that one cut and he’s gone.”
On Jackson: “Jaylen is really dynamic, he can run the ball and he can throw the ball well. He can make people miss in open field. Seeing him grow and development was really good.”
Reddick’s biggest role models are his mom and dad. He sees his mom work hard every day which makes him want to work that much harder so she doesn’t have to work anymore.
“She busts her butt just for me to get what I want and my two little brothers. That makes me work even harder in the classroom and on the field.”
His dad passed away when he was five years old. Reddick says he always wanted to be just like him.
“He was always there and supportive when I was little. I want to make him proud.”
The oldest of three brothers, Reddick’s ultimate goal with the game of football on and off the field is to just make an impact any way that he can.
“I want to show people that you don’t have to be a four-star or a five-star prospect to do all this, you can have zero stars or zero offers. As long as you have heart and you got the guts to do what anybody else doesn’t want to do, you can make it a long way. I just want to show people that hard work pays off.”
Looking to become a leader in his final prep season, Reddick is on track for a big year. He is a dangerous weapon everytime he has the ball in his hands. Straight line speed is lethal and he has it.
J’Kobi Reddick is just one piece of the puzzle at Cambridge, but he’s an important one that I expect will be utilized even more this season.
Note: The Lancers travel to Clearwater Calvary Christian this Friday night for their spring game
Favorite players to watch – New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns WR Corey Coleman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Vernon Hargreaves III
Playlist before games – Future “Kno the Meaning”, Lil Herb “100 Days & 100 Nights”, Future “Last Breath”
Favorite Movies – Step Brothers
Favorite TV Shows – Bob’s Burgers and ESPN
Favorite hobbies – “I like to read books. Scarlet Letter, the Bible and Crucible are my three favorites.”
Fun fact about you that nobody knows – “I can swim really good. I used to be on the swim team when I was little at the rec center.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Kobi Ko”
Game tape: Reddick’s Hudl link.
Photo Credit: Beth Dare
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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