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December 29, 2017

J.R. Reed

Pasadena, California

Q. What do you remember about --
J.R. REED: I loved it. Loved the coaching staff but as time went on, I just felt it wasn't a fit for me. But they have a great staff and I love the people over there.

Q. How did you end up there?
J.R. REED: Well, they both had two different coaching staffs coming in, Chad Morris with SMU and Tulsa, Phil Montgomery from Tulsa. Tulsa reached out to me, found out I wasn't going to go to SMU anymore and I just went to Tulsa.

Q. Most people find it surprising that somebody goes from Tulsa to Georgia and plays as well as you did. Did you always feel like you could play at the SEC level?
J.R. REED: Yeah, I always just felt like -- that was the biggest thing for me transferring. I felt like I wanted to play against better competition, a higher calibre of football and always knew I could play at this level and be a starter.

Q. Why don't you think you played more at Tulsa?
J.R. REED: Just being young as a freshman and just having to learn and just what the coaches wanted.

Q. First chance you get to play at Georgia, you play and make Second Team All SEC and you played really well. Why do you think that worked so well?
J.R. REED: I just think the coaches did a great job developing me as a player. Also spent a year, really almost two years, under these guys belt and so they have done a great job developing me into the player that I am.

Q. Do you still have friends at Tulsa
J.R. REED: I still FaceTime those guys. I actually called them before I got on the plane and I'll probably talk to them after this game.

I'm really close to the '19 class and '18 class. Jeremy Grady, he graduated, Willy Wright, McKinley Whitfield, Jay Mitch (ph) , a lot of -- Chad, Hobbs, I'm really close with the whole team that's over there. We really created a brotherhood.

Q. Did anyone say anything, did they think you were crazy to transfer?
J.R. REED: They knew I had the talent. A lot of those guys were shocked that I was going to leave, because just transferring is a big deal anywhere you're at but I don't think anyone thought I was crazy. If they did, they never came out and told me.

But they all wish me the best of luck and they are all proud of me and I'm proud of those guys what they are doing over there. I always check in on them after every game and what's going on and how is the team.

Q. Why do you think you weren't recruited by the bigger schools?
J.R. REED: I tore my ACL my senior year.

Q. Your dad, how proud is he of creating your own path?
J.R. REED: He loves it. He's a big fan. He has really turned from being Jake Reed to being a Georgia Football fan, so now if you catch him in the stands, he's barking, cheering, he's doing everything the fans do. He just loves being a fan now and not having the spotlight on him.

Q. What do you remember about your dad --
J.R. REED: That he's a great player and Vikings, great fan base. I remember Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Randall Cunningham, being around those facilities. Being around those guys what they do just had me dream as a little kid and gave me things to strive for.

Q. Your thoughts on Baker Mayfield?
J.R. REED: He's explosive. He's the Heisman winner for a reason. The guy creates plays. You see plays that break down and he just magically just creates the play out of this, great quarterback. He's going to be hard to stop.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Oklahoma passing attack, what's it going to be like to defend that?
J.R. REED: It's a Big 12 passing attack. It kind of reminds me of Missouri. That's what they have do. They have some good receivers outside, very fast. We've just got to stay on top and stop those big plays that they have.

Q. There's a lot made that Baker Mayfield has been sick the last couple days. Do you have any intel whether he's going to play?
J.R. REED: This is the first time I've heard he's been sick. This is my first time here. Maybe he's faking it. I'd love to go against that guy. Maybe he'll just come out game time.

Q. Is it exciting to go against a Heisman Trophy winner?
J.R. REED: It's exciting it to go against any great player, and he's a great player and as defense, you get happy for the challenge. You want to go against guys that are good. You want to go against Heisman Trophy winners. You want to go against the top teams, the top offenses. It's a good challenge for your defense. It's something that you'd like to do.

Q. Talk about the Georgia quarterback -- I know you're on the other side of the ball.
J.R. REED: The kid is just so smart as a young age. He came in and really just attacked that playbook. By doing that, the kid is just unbelievable, smart. He walks up to the line and he can check into different plays while the defense is checking into another play. He knows how to check in and out, and I think that makes him the player that he is now and where he's played at such a high level as a freshman is because of his capability to do what seniors are doing, checking plays, that takes awhile. So with his intelligence, sky is the limit for him.

Q. Was there any one point in the season where you said, he's our guy or this is his offense?
J.R. REED: When you walk in and see it in camp and he stays in command and just drives the ball down the field, sometimes on the ones, man, this kid, knows what he's doing. When he walked in from App State and there's no drop off, they took him down the field and scored, that's when you know there's something special about the guy.

Q. Is there something about his personality?
J.R. REED: Everyone just likes playing with everyone on this team. But the kid's got a great personality. He smiles. He's always happy and he's never negative and always positive. He's always a general on the field and so that just makes guys want to gravitate.

Also he's a freshman. So when he came in the game, guys really gravitated around him, and no one really knew what he could do until he stepped on that field, and when he did show everyone what he could do, it was just amazing.

Q. What did your dad say when you told him you wanted to transfer, what was his advice?
J.R. REED: Just wait and see how this season goes and if you want to transfer, he's all behind the decisions that I'm making.

Q. A lot of guys on the team are from the State of Georgia, via Coach Smart, but Georgia kind of alum.
J.R. REED: They take pride in their football just as much as we take pride in our football in Texas. I see a lot of similarities in Georgia football players that I see from guys back home in Texas. They want to keep all their guys in-state and they have some good players here in this state.

Q. What have you done other than practice?
J.R. REED: Eat, sleep, watch film. Went to improv. Haven't really done much.

Q. How was it? Any comics?
J.R. REED: There were two comics that I have seen on TV but they were both funny.

Q. Where was it?
J.R. REED: Improv down in Beverly Hills.

Q. You probably already answered this question -- delving into your year --
J.R. REED: There's older guys ahead of me and I was young as a freshman.

I just said that these coaches here have done a great job developing me. It's been a year or two I've been under their belt and they have done a great job developing me to the player I am now.

Q. Did that red-shirt year make a difference?
J.R. REED: The red-shirted year made a big difference. I learned to play in the SEC and learned the Georgia culture, and the coaches did a great job developing me.

Q. How highly recruited were you?
J.R. REED: I was really highly recruited. I tore my ACL my senior year out of school.

Q. How far is Tulsa?
J.R. REED: An hour or two.

Q. Did Oklahoma ever --
J.R. REED: Went to Oklahoma camp my junior year in high school.

Q. What do you remember about that?
J.R. REED: Oklahoma has nice facilities. It's kind of like flat out there. It's like really flat. It's totally different from Texas. The coaches were great, I remember that. I had a great time.

Q. Do you have a sense that OU football might be --
J.R. REED: A little bit, playing in Tulsa and growing up in Texas, and you have the OU/Texas rivalry.

Q. What's it like?
J.R. REED: Totally different. I don't think anywhere in the world is like Athens, to be honest. Athens has its own little section. You come to Athens, it's hard to explain. It's just different. It's a true college town. It's a true college town. Everyone is behind you. The fan base is there. You can't go anywhere without someone recognizing you. I love the fans in Athens and I love Athens.

Q. Have you got any traditions?
J.R. REED: Last year I sat in the stands, so I saw the traditions that Athens had and Georgia did. I was really impressed with everything. Took it all in.

Q. Have you ever been to Austin?
J.R. REED: I've been to Austin before. I'm about four hours from Austin where I live. I've never really been out in Austin.

Q. What's your perspective -- high-octane, running --
J.R. REED: I mean, we'll see. We'll see the game day. I know their offense is amazing. Great offensive players coming out of there. This offense that we're going against is high-powered, so that's true. We have a great defense. So we'll see what happens on the first.

Q. You were at Tulsa 2015?
J.R. REED: Yes.

Q. Did you play OU that year?
J.R. REED: Yes.

Q. Did you play that game?
J.R. REED: Yes.

Q. What do you remember from that? Baker Mayfield?
J.R. REED: Smart guy. Keeps the play alive. He can look you off. He's an NFL-type quarterback.

Q. Didn't you Hail Mary?
J.R. REED: Yeah.

Q. Any memories from that?
J.R. REED: Nixon, great running back. Baker, let him out of the pocket, he's going to run it. He's just an all-around ballplayer.

Q. What are impressions of Baker now versus what you saw in 2015?
J.R. REED: He likes to throw the ball a little bit more, honestly. I feel like he wants to be in the pocket more and he's more of a pocket passer. That's why he doesn't want to run it unless he really has to. I remember him running out a little bit more in 2015 than what he's doing now.

Q. What do you make of him apparently being sick? Is that something you're aware of?
J.R. REED: Honestly I just found that out coming here talking to you guys. I hope it's not true because I want to go against him. I want to go against the best guy out there. But if it is, you know, I wish him the best of luck. Get well soon.

Q. Did you follow him as a player? He was always in the spotlight. Did you notice that?
J.R. REED: Honestly I don't follow players like that. Recruiting, I don't follow guys like that. I'm really just into my guys and I follow those guys around and who is on my team right now.

Q. If you contain him Monday -- such a spotlight player for college football.
J.R. REED: He was a great player without the Heisman Trophy so it doesn't mean that much to me.

Q. Have you talked to your dad about being in this moment right now?
J.R. REED: He says just take it all in and not a lot of people get to this moment. Be smart in what you're doing and take it all in, and it's not a trip for fun and it's a trip for business.

Q. Along those lines, how do you think the team has done separating the fun you have had?
J.R. REED: I think we've done a great job as a team, the leaders on the team, we've rallied around and made sure everyone knows that this is a business trip.

Q. Did you go to the improve?
J.R. REED: Yeah, it was hilarious. Some of our teammates got up on stage, told a few jokes, rapped a little, free-styled a little -- Wicks (ph), our walk-on, had a great little free-style, surprised everybody. So we had a good time.

Q. Any of the other guys surprise a little bit?
J.R. REED: No. Most of the other guys, I knew they were funny and they could all rap just from being in the locker room.

Rich, the guy has a future in comedy. That kid is hilarious.

Q. When you see Nixon, what are you noticing?
J.R. REED: They are doing what they are taught to do, which is to get open. Guys are deep, get back to the ball and guys that are short, go deep. They know that once they have like a timer in their head and once that timer breaks down, those guys are getting open.

Q. How much more difficult does it make life for you?
J.R. REED: Just got to cover for a longer time and run for a longer time. You've got to keep your eyes on your man and that's the main thing we've got to do.

Q. Baker seems to get under a lot of people's skin with the trash talk and the way he plays and the way he celebrates.
J.R. REED: It's been a point of emphasis for us all year, really, especially with the guys that we face and a lot of the trash talk we have gotten as a team; you know, we get trash talked every week with someone saying something about our team in the media from the opposing team. So we just always know what to do with that, keep our cool and go out there and hand many business.

Q. Was there anyone who was particularly --
J.R. REED: You go back to games, you could go back to the Mississippi State game, they said something about our team. You go back to the Florida game, they said something. I'm pretty sure somebody along the way said something about our team, have done some type of trash talk. We've just got to keep our cool like we've done all season and play disciplined.

Q. Do you work up a dislike for him from what you've seen from afar?
J.R. REED: Baker? Another guy, another player, another quarterback. There's no like, dislike. Just got to go out there and handle business.

Q. Figure out --
J.R. REED: No, at all. I'm coming back.

Q. When it comes to this game, throwing for 360 --
J.R. REED: Yeah, we've faced a lot of good offenses in the SEC but we've never faced a run/pass attack like we're going to face. These guys can run it, they can do it all.

Q. Auburn has that -- do you think that can help with you that; just the fact that you've seen that?
J.R. REED: Yeah, it can. But we see balanced teams each week. Each week teams are very balanced. No team is really heavy on pass or heavy on the run. So we've been prepared for this game throughout the whole year. We're ready for it and we've been preparing for this week. These guys are different -- not to take anything away from these guys. They are great. They are a great offense.

Q. How much validation -- from where you were to here you are, starter in the game.
J.R. REED: Yeah, it's just something I always believed in, believing in myself, knowing that I could do something like this. I always knew I could play at this level and that's why I left Tulsa, to play at a higher level.

I already knew it just everybody else had to show it and I just had to go show everyone.

Q. What makes Roquan so good?
J.R. REED: I've been getting Baker, Roquan, I've been getting everybody.

Q. What do you want to talk about?
J.R. REED: Roquan, it's speed. Speed makes him the player that he is and just being smart.

Having good football IQ comes from studying film and knowing what your opponent is going to do before they do it and he can play recognize anything that's going on and use his speed to get to the ball and that's what makes him so great.

Q. And can you tell that on the field with him? He figures things out so fast -- the rest of us, it takes a second to react.
J.R. REED: Most of the time on the field, if he's at the play before I get there, I'm like, okay, he knew what it was.

Q. Does that happen a lot?
J.R. REED: Yeah, he can get there before me. He's a little closer.

Q. Coming here, how much of a factor was it (for your cousin)?
J.R. REED: It wasn't a big factor. I had other schools I was looking at like Baylor, Tennessee, LA Tech, I was looking at different schools in that area. But when I decided to come to Georgia, that just put a plus on him. Just made him really want to come, too.

Q. What's your relationship?
J.R. REED: He's my first cousin. We're like brothers.

Q. Did you grow up together?
J.R. REED: Yes, we did.

Q. Inaudible.
J.R. REED: We have Stetson Bennett and that kid has done a great job all year and he's probably the closest thing we can get to Baker Mayfield. I'll give him, like if you wanted to be like a Baker Mayfield mini-me, that kid can play ball. He can play probably at any school he wants to right now and be up for starting if he was just a little taller. But the kid, he can play. I love him.

Q. Has he trash-talked you like Baker?
J.R. REED: No, that's just Baker, what he does. We're not two-way about trash talk.

The kid can scramble move out, run, throw like Baker does. He's done a great job in the off-season for us. He's been doing scout team quarterback. He's been doing a great job. All the receivers that we have, they are doing a great job giving us a great picture. We have a great scout team and that's been the reason for most of our success this year.

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