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Triumph, but double trauma, for Reveiz

Nick Reveiz is an expert on how huge opportunity can be severely tempered with emotional trauma following a pair of near tragedies.

Just when this over-achieving University of Tennessee middle linebacker and former Farragut High School two-time wrestling state champ was ready to impact the depth chart as a non-scholarship redshirt sophomore — both his younger siblings faced near death experiences barely three months apart.

“I’ve never looked at it as a, “Why us?’ I just think it’s something that’s getting us stronger as a family,” the 5-foot-10, 225-pound second-string MLB said about younger brother Shane’s emergency heart surgery in January that saved his life, followed by a car accident that left younger sister, Bryanna, in critical condition in mid-April.

Shane, a UT redshirt freshman non-scholarship outside linebacker, has fully recovered and Bryanna, a rising senior at FHS, is reportedly improving with continued therapy.

“We’ve all come together real strong,” Nick said. “It’s incredible how strong my brother is and how strong my sister is. It was hard for me because I always feel like I need to be the person who’s the leader … it’s a hard process, but God’s bringing us through it.”

Though Bryanna’s accident happened just days before UT’s annual Orange and White Game to conclude spring practice April 19, Nick Reveiz managed to keep his nose to the grindstone in what has been labeled as a hugely successful spring for the former FHS All-state linebacker.

“The most important thing is that I felt like my sister wanted me to go do my football obligation,” said Nick, who has worked his way to second string despite no scholarship.

“Also something fueling me in the Orange and White Game … every play I thought about my sister, that just made me want to give that much more effort,” he added. “I played that game for her and felt like I did a pretty good job.”

Nick has made up acres of ground to overcome his own “on-field” adversity last year after breaking his leg during 2007 Spring drills.

“Last spring it was hard, I only got six or seven practices in,” Nick said. “I could really tell a difference this spring ’cause I got in all 15 [practices] in. By God’s grace I wasn’t hurt, I got every practice snap.

“It’s not just that I’m physically ready, but I feel like I’m mentally ready,” he added. “I’m really learning the scheme, I’m learning why we do things, understanding why we’re doing certain things. … I think that’s the biggest thing, when you get you’re mental game down that’s when you really start playing your best.”

Hustle may be the real edge.

“I bring determination, I bring effort into the game,” Nick said. “I think some people are definitely more athletically gifted and maybe faster than me, and maybe have little things better than me.

“I think in the end, no matter how tall I am or anything like that, my effort is what makes me stand out,” Nick added. “I try to go 110 percent every play, and I feel like I make a lot of plays because of that.”

Should Vol fans fear a drop-off at middle linebacker when Reveiz sees action this fall?

“Power-wise and quickness-wise I feel I’m right there with any of ’em,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any drop-off, and when I get the opportunity to go I think that I have a good opportunity to succeed.”

As for Shane’s progress, “He’s a full go now,” Nick said about the 5-foot-11, 220-pound redshirt freshman linebacker who missed Spring due to the surgery.

Nick remains a preferred walk-on. No scholarship yet.

“I don’t really try to bring it up, because the biggest thing to me, like scholarship or not, as long as I get opportunities, as long as I get fair looks, which I have been,” he said. “Coach [John] Chavis and [head] coach [Phillip] Fulmer have done everything beyond their power to make sure that I get reps.

“That’s the only thing that matters to me.

“Our family’s been blessed, we don’t really need the extra money,” he added.

Nick and Shane are among several former FHS standouts wearing Orange and White.

Brett Barnes is a 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior linebacker listed on the varsity roster in Spring.

Nick Guess, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound redshirt freshman long-snapper, currently is listed on the varsity roster as third team.

Shane Reveiz is among three former Admirals listed on the Volunteer Squad, joining sophomore holder/wide receiver Geoff Courtney (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) and freshman defensive end John Morrison (6-foot-2, 236 pounds).


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