|Date of birth:May 7, 1974|
|Place of birth: Dothan, Alabama|
|NFL Draft: 1998 / Round: 6 / Pick: 188|
|No regular season or postseason appearances|
|*Dallas Cowboys ( 1998– 2001)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Izell Reese (born May 7, 1974 in Dothan, Alabama) is a former professional American football safety in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Denver Broncos. He played college football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Although he came to the University of Alabama at Birmingham as an unrecruited walk-on athlete, he was named the starter at strong safety as a freshman, making 10 tackles and leading the team with 4 interceptions. The next season, he registered 70 tackles, 1 interception and posted 18 tackles—the third best single-game total in school history—against Western Kentucky University.
As a junior, he recorded 69 tackles (second on the team), 5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. In his last year, he collected 83 tackles (4 for loss) and closed out his eligibility with a school-record 85-yard interception return for a touchdown against Arkansas State University.
During his time in college, the University of Alabama at Birmingham went from NCAA Division II to I-AA and on to Division I-A. He finished second in career tackles (276), first in solo tackles (188), fourth in career interceptions (8), first in career interception return yardage (135 yards) and first with 44 games (38 starts out of 44).
Dallas Cowboys (first stint)Edit
The coaches were intrigued by his size/speed ratio but decided to keep him at safety. Although he wasn't expected to make an impact, he contributed in the "45" and nickel packages, while also emerging as the team's leader in special teams tackles with 21. He was a key player in the Cowboys leading the NFL in kickoff coverage (18.5 yards) and finishing third in punt coverage (6.2 yards).
Despite missing the final 8 games of the 1999 season with a herniated disc in his neck, he tied for second on the team with 3 interceptions, registered 28 tackles, 5 passes defensed, 6 special teams tackles and 2 quarterback pressures.
After overcoming a career-threatening neck injury in the 2000 season, he became a seven-game starter at free safety in place of an injured George Teague, finishing first on the team in special teams tackles (22), second in interceptions (2) and eighth in tackles (72).
In 2001, the team tried to convert him into a cornerback, but after starting the first four games, he was replaced with Duane Hawthorne at left cornerback and was moved back to safety. He registered 37 tackles (24 solo), 3 sacks (fourth on the team), 3 passes defensed, one interception and 8 special teams tackles.
On March 15, 2002, he signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos. He earned the starting free safety position, finishing with 58 tackles 5 quarterback pressures, one pass defensed and 3 special teams tackles.
On March 21, 2003, he signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills. He started 9 out of 13 games at free safety, before being placed on the injured reserve list on December 17. He collected 33 tackles, one quarterback pressure and 6 special teams tackles.
In 2004, he was named the starter at free safety, until he was passed on the depth chart by rookie Rashad Baker in the 10th game and was declared inactive during the rest of the season. He posted 48 tackles, one interception and one quarterback pressure.
Dallas Cowboys (second stint)Edit
Reese retired in 2005 and is now the EVP of Next College Student Athlete and GM of the Rivals Combine Series, camps and combines for high school football players.
He is the co-founder of Rising Seniors, a program that gives top athletes in the Junior year of high school the opportunity to have a "rookie camp" experience and coaching on making the most of college opportunities and the recruiting process. The annual program ends with a "Junior Bowl" that gives college recruiters a glimpse of new talent.
- ↑ "Growing Pains". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=20010727&id=zjYcAAAAIBAJ&sjid=j1oEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6613,6992419. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- ↑ "Reese bolts Dallas for Denver". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=20020316&id=2QshAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rloEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5460,4261979. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- ↑ "Transactions". https://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/22/sports/transactions-902160.html. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- ↑ "Transactions". https://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/18/sports/transactions-611620.html. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- ↑ "Transactions". https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9803E1DB1E3EF936A1575BC0A9639C8B63. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
- ↑ "Izell Reese Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. https://www.espn.in/nfl/player/_/id/1576/izell-reese. Retrieved July 15, 2019.