During spring football in 2008, Minoso Rodgers met a mature-beyond-his-years running back named Albert Reid and immediately predicted big things for the eighth-grader.
"I loved his build," said Rodgers, the running backs coach at Friendship Collegiate High in Washington. "He had a nice, thick frame and he definitely got started in the weight room and looked like a football player. He got himself on the field, making some upperclassmen look [silly] in spring ball … making them miss. You could see he had a good feel and a nice frame to build on."
Reid joined Friendship Collegiate's varsity the following fall – along with fellow freshman and future five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman. The young running back fared well that season, and got better every year thanks to a dogged work ethic combined with natural talent.
For Rodgers, coaching the Maryland-bound running back for four years was always exciting.
"Every game I was looking forward to seeing what he was going to do," Rodgers said. "The first game of the season against Taft, we were up in Cincinnati, and we're a pretty young offensive team so we figured out how he was going to go about the season. He was definitely a captain of the team, and he definitely showed his strength, putting in speed work in the offseason. You could see that he was going to have a good year."
In the nationally televised game against Taft, Reid carried the ball 25 times for 143 yards and caught three passes for 17 yards – including an 8-yard touchdown – to lead the Knights to a 12-6 win over the Senators. It wouldn't be the first time Reid powered Friendship Collegiate to victory.
"Basically he was a 25-to-30-carry back," Rodgers said. "Teams would put eight in the box, making sure they stopped the run first. Albert always was capable of making big runs, breaking tackles and turning a 2-yard gain into a 15- or 20-yard gain. He was very relentless. He's very hard to bring down. There's a lot of fight when he runs. He's very explosive and has very good vision."
Reid finished the year with 225 carries for 1,705 yards, six catches for 39 yards, and 17 total touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior helped the Knights to a 9-1 record, and he was named the D.C. Gatorade Player of the Year for his efforts.
The Knights ran a multiple offensive system, taking advantage of Reid's versatility on a regular basis. The future Terp lined up as the tailback in the two-back set, saw action as the lone back in spread formation, and even played some Wildcat quarterback.
"We tried to get the ball to him every way we could. He was by far our best offensive player," Rodgers said. "He has a very unique running style. He runs very physical with explosion. He has very good explosiveness. When he sees it, he runs."
Rodgers said Reid's vision sets him apart from other high school running backs. But it's his work ethic that will really serve the three-star prospect well in College Park.
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"He's going to do everything it takes to get on the field," Rodgers said. "It'll be determined by the [offensive coordinator]. He's going to work hard. Whatever the coach asks him to do and more. He's going to fight for playing time. He's not going to get comfortable. He's hungrier than he's been in the last four years. He has all the tools, that's for sure."