Standing at 5'11, 180 lbs., Sam Reinke doesn't have the most prototypical size for a wide receiver. What Reinke does have, however, is heart and a good work ethic.
Reinke is a class of 2017 recruit that plays wide receiver and free safety for the Grayling Vikings of the Lake Michigan Conference, a small league in the heart of Northern Michigan. Grayling itself has approximately 500 students in the high school, with starters playing on both sides of the ball.
He understands the pressure that comes with being a small-school prospect, and hoped to make a good impression on coaches there.
"College coaches don't often come this far north for recruits so when I'm on the field next to all these big time recruits from the biggest high schools in Michigan I feel like I should get just as good of a shot at playing in college as them."
Reinke certainly has the potential to at least share the field with more heralded prospects. As a receiver, Reinke had 37 receptions for 802 yards and 8 touchdowns, averaging about 21.6 yards per catch. As a free safety, Reinke compiled 34 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. Reinke is also a leader for the Vikings, being named team captain as a junior, and winning first-team all-area, first-team all-conference, first-team all-region, all-state honorable mention, and hands award awards in the past year.
Reinke showed aggression on both sides, with big play ability and acceleration that jumps off of the tape on offense, and the ability to execute tackles and blitzes with ease on defense.
Reinke recently took his first visit as an FBS-level recruit to Eastern Michigan's Spring Game and came away impressed with what he saw: "I was very impressed by what they have going on there. I wasn't expecting the amount of excitement I saw from the sidelines for a spring game. Although their record last year wasn't very impressive, they will be in the rise... they have something special going on over in Ypsilanti."
Although he was unable to speak to head coach Chris Creighton, Reinke bought into the message that he espoused at the spring game.
"Unfortunately I was not able to talk to him one-on-one because he was very busy. But, he was able to talk to the majority of the recruits and parents as a whole and I was extremely impressed by the program and by his motives as a coach. He really puts the athletes first and treats them likes family and that made a big impact on me," Reinke said.
Reinke did manage to hold court with Herb Haygood, the wide receivers coach, who Reinke talks with over Twitter often. Reinke said that he has been encouraged to attend EMU's summer camps so that he can be further evaluated by staff members.
EMU was the first FBS school that Reinke visited. Last year, Reinke took a visit to Ferris State, a D-II school in Big Rapids, MI. Hope College, a D-III school, has shown "considerable interest." Reinke, who also runs track at GHS, will wait until the summer to attend any other football camps, listing CMU, EMU, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Saginaw State, and WMU on his list. Reinke is looking for a school that "will take a chance on me and make me a part of the family," listing Eastern as his top preference.
Reinke was honest in his own self-assessment when asked about strengths and weaknesses, saying that his "aggressive hands," quick feet, jumping ability, and his lack of fear to go up the middle are major strengths, while his initial speed and height are weaknesses. Reinke did note that he is working to get better, lifting six days a week, running drills before classes, and watching film of both receivers and free safeties.
Sam can be followed on Twitter @sam_reinke. Below are video highlights form the 2016 season via Hudl.