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Reveiz eyes combine
Former FHS football star follows Florida’s Tebow to train at D1 Sports Nashville

Nick Reveiz, 56, former Farragut High School All-state linebacker and two-time state wrestling champ, is poised to make one of his 14 recorded tackles during The University of Tennessee matchup with the University of North Carolina at the Music City- Dan Barile/farragutpress
Based on his track record of overachieving thanks to tenacious hard work and determination, Nick Reveiz might have an “NFL or bust” mentality.

However, it’s hardly a “bust” to fall back on a business management degree, earned last spring at The University of Tennessee prior to Reveiz leading the football Vols in tackles (108, 13 games) as a senior linebacker in 2010.

“I know wherever I go, that’s where God wants me to be,” said Reveiz, ex-Farragut High School All-state linebacker and two-time state wrestling champ who has proven local critics wrong before.

Reveiz overcame supposedly being “too small and too slow” as a non-scholarship UT walk-on in 2005 to earn pre-season Second Team All-SEC recognition as a senior.

While it’s full throttle ahead for Reveiz in pursuit of making an NFL roster — currently training like a madman to improve his speed — what’s the fallback plan?

“That’s a great question,” the 5-foot-9, 226-pound Reveiz said in early January while preparing for the NFL combine — pro evaluation workouts testing various physical skills — training at D1 Sports in Nashville.

Reveiz, 22, hasn’t ruled out some day coaching “because I enjoy the mental side, the cerebral side of football,” he said. “I like the thinking side, so I think coaching would be a good fit.

“I’ve been approached about getting into the ministry, as far as working for a church or something like that,” added Reveiz, currently pursuing a master’s degree in sports psychology at UT. “Maybe business, I’m not really sure.”

However, “Right now I’ve just got my sights set on football,” he said. “For me, it’s just kinda starting over, similar to when I was a senior in high school. It’s just a matter of proving the critics wrong again.”

Perceptions remain “that I’m not tall enough, I’m not fast enough and those kind of things,” said Reveiz, adding he hasn’t been timed recently in the 40-yard dash or evaluated for bench press or other strength tests.

Reveiz, also a Vols team captain and defensive signal-caller, said he’s been told that NFL “front office” personnel “like my football intelligence … I know where I’m supposed to be and the guys around me are supposed to be.”

“And they say I’m very instinctive, always being around the ball and hustling,” Reveiz added, crediting his father, former UT All-SEC and one-time NFL consecutive field-goal record holder, Fuad Reveiz, for emphasizing the importance of hustle and effort.

While willing to play for any NFL team, Reveiz said “it was cool growing up as a kid in Minnesota, my dad playing for the Vikings; that would be kinda nostalgic.”

As a young, undersized youth football player, Reveiz recalled conversation he had with Zach Thomas, former undersized, supposedly too slow linebacker at Texas Tech University who overcame the odds and started 12 years at linebacker for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

“I remember I got him to sign my hat; it was when I was in middle school,” Reveiz said. “I told him, ‘You’re the guy I look up to, big-time.’

“I remember him telling me, ‘Don’t ever let anyone look down at you because you’re a smaller guy, you can make up for it with heart, with hustle and desire.’

“I learned from him, from that short conversation we had. And also just from his play, and really admiring what he does.”

The adult Reveiz said he’d like to meet with Thomas, “But I know he’s busy, and I don’t have any way of contacting him. But I might try to do that.”

If falling short of making the NFL, Reveiz said he wouldn’t rule out trying the Canadian Football League or some other professional-level football.

“Right now my feelings are, ‘I just want to play,’” he said, adding if God’s will “leads me to Canada, so be it.”


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