NFL dream on hold, but still alive for Nick Reveiz

Tennessee linebacker Nick Reveiz points to the sky after intercepting the ball from Louisiana State University at the start of the third quarter at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee linebacker Nick Reveiz points to the sky after intercepting the ball from Louisiana State University at the start of the third quarter at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.

The dream hasn’t changed.

It still may be on hold, but Nick Reveiz continues to wait patiently.

There may be other options for the former Tennessee linebacker than sitting through an NFL lockout with no guarantees when it will end and allow him to sign a free-agent deal. Reveiz could pursue the United Football League like two of his former teammates already have, or he could perhaps look into the Canadian Football League for another way to get a professional career off the ground.

But simply getting paid to play wasn’t the goal for Reveiz after wrapping up his career with the Vols. And he’s not going to alter it just because of a labor situation he can’t control and has virtually no way of monitoring aside from media coverage.

“The NFL has always been my goal, ever since I was 6 or 7 years old,” Reveiz said while lending a hand at Eric Berry’s football camp last month at D1 Sports. “This has been my dream, and I’m going to wait it out as long as it needs to be waited out.

“Basically I know as much as you all do. We just keep an eye on ESPN and find out if something is breaking or there’s good news coming our way. From what it looks like, they’re on pace to make progress and make a breakthrough mid-July, but that’s uncertainty and it’s not going to happen until it happens.”

There have been some encouraging signs of progress lately, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and executive director of the player’s association DeMaurice Smith rejoined negotiations to try to end the lockout on Thursday in Minneapolis.

But until a deal is reached, nobody is doing business — and players who went undrafted in April can’t sign a contract or even communicate with franchises that might offer one when the doors are opened again.

That has led some to explore other avenues in the meantime, which defensive end Chris Walker and offensive lineman Jarrod Shaw both did by inking deals with the Hartford Colonials in the UFL. It also puts pressure on players like Reveiz who elect to wait to keep themselves in shape on his own, though that has never really been a problem for the self-motivated, former UT walk-on.

One unexpected benefit of the summer away from football has been the opportunity to participate in more community service projects after he finishes up his workouts, including the appearance with Berry last month that had him offering his expertise to kids up close and personal.

“That’s something I feel I owe to Knoxville, and it’s something I’m very happy to do,” Reveiz said. “The (future uncertainty) is tough, though. I don’t have a team to train with like I have for the last four or five years, so it’s just something I’ve had to keep myself accountable and try to stay in shape.

“I’ve been waiting to see what the next step is, and it’s really tough because I’m training without a certain date. I’m a guy that has always had specific dates to train for and, ‘Hey, I’ve got this much time.’ I don’t know how much time I’ve got; it’s uncertain.”

There’s also not a definite position for Reveiz at the next level, though that’s by design and has helped make him an attractive option for teams when a collective bargaining agreement is finalized.

In addition to his skills at linebacker and willingness to play on special teams, Reveiz worked out some at fullback this spring to give scouts another idea of how versatile and valuable he could be at the next level. And on the flip side, Reveiz and his inner circle have been doing homework on the teams that might suit him best as well.

“We’ve looked at what are good situations for me, because as soon as the lockout ends, free agency opens,” Reveiz said. “For me, I’m hoping to get a shot and we’ve talked to certain teams that we think are going to give me a shot as a free agent, so we’ve looked at the roster, depth chart, where can I make an impact, where is the best chance for me.

“That’s something we’ve looked at, and we’re prepared to make that decision once the lockout ends.”

Nobody knows for sure when that might be, but Reveiz isn’t going to abandon his dream just because of the delay.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 15

VolSkins writes:

Go to the Redskins Nick, and learn from London Fletcher for a few years then take over the reigns!

lomas98 writes:

Probably going to make some mad at this, but it is reality as it relates to the type of program we fans want to have again. I love Reviez's heart and hustle and the love he has for the big orange, but he would have never seen the field when the talent level here was what it still should be now. This is the type of player we as fans must make a decision on. Do we want a bunch of his types or the type of LB's we had in the past? When we decide we want the types we had back in the 90's and early 2000's we can start having dominant defenses again. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing but there is a reason he never saw the field during Chavis days. These are the type of players we used to have for special teams only while the better players saw the field and made the plays to win ball games. Just tired of hoping for 7 wins for a successful season. Go ahead, bash away.

Orangeyouavol writes:

in response to lomas98:

Probably going to make some mad at this, but it is reality as it relates to the type of program we fans want to have again. I love Reviez's heart and hustle and the love he has for the big orange, but he would have never seen the field when the talent level here was what it still should be now. This is the type of player we as fans must make a decision on. Do we want a bunch of his types or the type of LB's we had in the past? When we decide we want the types we had back in the 90's and early 2000's we can start having dominant defenses again. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing but there is a reason he never saw the field during Chavis days. These are the type of players we used to have for special teams only while the better players saw the field and made the plays to win ball games. Just tired of hoping for 7 wins for a successful season. Go ahead, bash away.

not to mention his size would never make it in the nfl

hcjournals#206623 writes:

You always want people with heart, geniuses.....Lay and down the pipe and the PS3 and grow up...

powert#205805 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with you on the post and that it was well written, unlike the article.

"It also puts pressure on players like Reveiz who elect to wait to keep themselves in shape on his own..."

Note to Austin Ward: You are writing for a newspaper now. Pick up a Harbrace Handbook.

I know that posters sometimes make grammatical errors in the comments. However, posters are not getting paid to write those comments.

Go_Big_O writes:

in response to lomas98:

Probably going to make some mad at this, but it is reality as it relates to the type of program we fans want to have again. I love Reviez's heart and hustle and the love he has for the big orange, but he would have never seen the field when the talent level here was what it still should be now. This is the type of player we as fans must make a decision on. Do we want a bunch of his types or the type of LB's we had in the past? When we decide we want the types we had back in the 90's and early 2000's we can start having dominant defenses again. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing but there is a reason he never saw the field during Chavis days. These are the type of players we used to have for special teams only while the better players saw the field and made the plays to win ball games. Just tired of hoping for 7 wins for a successful season. Go ahead, bash away.

You may be right about one thing - he may not have gotten a shot if the level of talent had been up to our normal standards. However, once he got his shot, he made the best of it. Not only was he the team's leading tackler, he was also the leader of the defense. Not the biggest or fastest LB in the SEC, but by his senior year he was definitely holding his own. I'll take him and guys like him for my team.

TommyJack writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Saying "spot on" is sooo girly-man.

hueypilot writes:

in response to lomas98:

Probably going to make some mad at this, but it is reality as it relates to the type of program we fans want to have again. I love Reviez's heart and hustle and the love he has for the big orange, but he would have never seen the field when the talent level here was what it still should be now. This is the type of player we as fans must make a decision on. Do we want a bunch of his types or the type of LB's we had in the past? When we decide we want the types we had back in the 90's and early 2000's we can start having dominant defenses again. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing but there is a reason he never saw the field during Chavis days. These are the type of players we used to have for special teams only while the better players saw the field and made the plays to win ball games. Just tired of hoping for 7 wins for a successful season. Go ahead, bash away.

I guess a lot of the posters stayed too late draining the last dregs of the keg, lomas, otherwise you would have been assaulted twenty times by now for having the gall to state the truth. My friend, former Vol AA, from the 60's says Nick is a great kid, hardest worker and film study freak, but wouldn't see the field except for special teams duty at Fayetteville, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Baton Rouge or Gainesville.

Your post is on the money and I, for one, am getting a little concerned that we're still not bringing in the game changing athletes like the Peyton Mannings, Jamaal Lewis', Dale Carters, John Hendersons, Peerless Prices, and Al Wilsons of the college football world.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Ok, one more time. When we have almost all 4s or 5s, we will still be lucky to have players like anyone in the Reveiz family. Bear Bryant used to win national championships with a team full of them. No one says we don't want great players physically. Have you ever heard of Bill Bates? Leaving it all on the field. 110%. 60 minutes. Please act like you've been to the rodeo at least once...If you haven't, google the history of the Vols and shut the front door until you have something constructive to say. Other than that....Have a good one and try not to be a jackwagon today......

lomas98 writes:

in response to hcjournals#206623:

Ok, one more time. When we have almost all 4s or 5s, we will still be lucky to have players like anyone in the Reveiz family. Bear Bryant used to win national championships with a team full of them. No one says we don't want great players physically. Have you ever heard of Bill Bates? Leaving it all on the field. 110%. 60 minutes. Please act like you've been to the rodeo at least once...If you haven't, google the history of the Vols and shut the front door until you have something constructive to say. Other than that....Have a good one and try not to be a jackwagon today......

Never questioned the heart of Reveiz, just pointing out what most fail to accept. TN cannot compete for SEC championships with 11 Reveiz's on the field at the same time. They have a ton of heart but that will only take you so far. Some will say they would rather have a lot him and stay out of trouble, but they are the same ones who complain about losing games too. They blame it on everything else and fail to accept the lack of talent. Bill Bates not only gave 110% but he did not make it to the NFL on just that, he was very talented.

tmartin writes:

in response to hcjournals#206623:

Ok, one more time. When we have almost all 4s or 5s, we will still be lucky to have players like anyone in the Reveiz family. Bear Bryant used to win national championships with a team full of them. No one says we don't want great players physically. Have you ever heard of Bill Bates? Leaving it all on the field. 110%. 60 minutes. Please act like you've been to the rodeo at least once...If you haven't, google the history of the Vols and shut the front door until you have something constructive to say. Other than that....Have a good one and try not to be a jackwagon today......

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

2010 Vandy team would beat a Bryant Bama team from the 60's if you could hypothetically match them up. They are bigger faster and stronger. It was a different game back then.

vol4good#206163 writes:

in response to lomas98:

Probably going to make some mad at this, but it is reality as it relates to the type of program we fans want to have again. I love Reviez's heart and hustle and the love he has for the big orange, but he would have never seen the field when the talent level here was what it still should be now. This is the type of player we as fans must make a decision on. Do we want a bunch of his types or the type of LB's we had in the past? When we decide we want the types we had back in the 90's and early 2000's we can start having dominant defenses again. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing but there is a reason he never saw the field during Chavis days. These are the type of players we used to have for special teams only while the better players saw the field and made the plays to win ball games. Just tired of hoping for 7 wins for a successful season. Go ahead, bash away.

So we need more of those 5* guys, like Bryce Brown, or mabye David Oku? Right! Look I know you think your making an awsome observation, but please! I no I wouldnt bet against the guy making it in the NFL. No one believed he could make it at TN and to say he couldnt have played at Bammer or Fluuhdah is wrong. That guy outplayed almost all of the 4 and 5 star guys Tn had!

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Tmart...

Duh...We will get the 4s and 5s. Don't be paranoid...

kd45music writes:

in response to lomas98:

Probably going to make some mad at this, but it is reality as it relates to the type of program we fans want to have again. I love Reviez's heart and hustle and the love he has for the big orange, but he would have never seen the field when the talent level here was what it still should be now. This is the type of player we as fans must make a decision on. Do we want a bunch of his types or the type of LB's we had in the past? When we decide we want the types we had back in the 90's and early 2000's we can start having dominant defenses again. I appreciate what he has done and what he is doing but there is a reason he never saw the field during Chavis days. These are the type of players we used to have for special teams only while the better players saw the field and made the plays to win ball games. Just tired of hoping for 7 wins for a successful season. Go ahead, bash away.

I've made my decision: I'll take kids like Nick every day of the week and twice on Sunday. To me, Reveiz represents what college football should be all about - love of the game and loyalty to your school. Sadly the days of cheating, thugery, and just plain stupidity have replaced what college sports should represent. Thank goodness a kid like Reveiz comes along every once in a while, beats the odds, and reminds us what the game used to be.

silicon28 writes:

in response to Orangeyouavol:

not to mention his size would never make it in the nfl

Ever heard of Sam Mills? Or Doug Flutie? Now, do you really have something of value to add to the discussion?

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