There’s no question, when talking about the country’s more high-profile prospects in the Class of 2016, the name Reese Donahue from Cabell Midland (WV) is normally in the all-important conversation.
Still, the 6-foot-5 and 250-pound defensive lineman differs from his peers. In many ways, mind you. That’s both on, and off, the field. He’s a high-character recruit. One cut from a different cloth
Accordingly, Donahue was recognized this past weekend with NFL veteran Troy Brown in attendance on behalf of Blue-Grey Football during a stop on the nationwide Blue-Grey Jersey Presentation Tour.
The appearance by both generated a buzz. Rightfully so, given the well-known status of each individual: A three-time Super Bowl Champion in Brown and a West Virginia commit in Donahue.
The hype machine, in fact, figures to build more steam with Donahue playing for the North vs. South in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium.
Worth mentioning, two other games take place: East vs. West on Dec. 20 at Dallas Cowboy’s AT&T Stadium and Blue vs. Grey on Jan. 16 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field.
“It was an honor to have Mr. Brown at my school and to play in a big game like this,” Donahue said. “Football is more than one player though. I would not be in this position without my teammates.”
Therein lies the key: He understands the bigger picture and attempts to share the spotlight. A unique quality. Others might get caught up in the act with the bright lights on the big stage. Not him.
The first encounter with Donahue, for the record, was during June’s Blue-Grey Super Combine at the offseason home of the Washington Redskins, Bon Secors’ Training Facility in Richmond (VA).
He did not participate during the workout due to a prior commitment with the West Virginia coaching staff. Nevertheless, Donahue made the eight-plus hour round-trip and stayed from start to finish.
Right then and there, he endeared himself to the whole Blue-Grey Football family, most importantly the brand’s NFL veteran coaching staff on hand, but also the CEO, none other than Gus Bell.
Ever since, based on a resume which includes national appeal and also a well-rounded demeanor off the gridiron, Donahue has been destined to participate in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.
“Donahue is the type of player every coach wants,” NFL veteran and Blue-Grey All-American Bowl coach Arlen Harris said. “You can win, on off the field, with a young man like him on your side.”