By Gary Lloyd
BIRMINGHAM — UAB junior running back Darrin Reaves, a former Clay-Chalkville standout, is skipping his senior season and entering the 2014 NFL Draft, according to his father.
Reaves projects as a fourth-round draft pick or later. The NFL Draft is May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
“(Darrin is a) phenomenal person and a really great running back,” said Clay-Chalkville head football coach Jerry Hood. “He has the intestinal fortitude and talent to be successful in the NFL.”
Reaves, a 2010 Clay-Chalkville High School graduate, is third all time in rushing at UAB with 2,337 yards.
“I feel like I am ready to take the next step in my life,” Reaves said. “This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I went to church and the pastor said, ‘To start new adventures and be strong and courageous and to follow God’s plan.’ I feel like playing in the NFL is part of God’s plan. I talked to my family a lot about this and came to my decision to put my name in for the draft.”
As a junior last season, Reaves rushed 201 times for 928 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named an honorable mention All Conference USA player. Before the 2013 season, Reaves was named one of 63 running backs on the Doak Walker Award watch list, an award given to the nation’s premier running back.
Reaves in 2012 rushed for 1,037 yards and a school-record 13 touchdowns, while catching 41 passes for 302 yards and one score. He was named a Conference USA First Team selection.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Reaves rushed for 1,223 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior at Clay-Chalkville in 2010. He caught 21 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown, and also recorded a 70-yard punt return touchdown. The Cougars that season reached the Class 6A quarterfinals, finishing with a 9-4 record.
Reaves’ father, Darrin, lettered at UAB in 1991 as a tailback, making them the first father-son legacy at UAB. Marcus Reaves, his younger brother, is also on the UAB roster as a wide receiver. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound younger brother was also a running back at Clay-Chalkville.
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