INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (February 21, 2016) – Reece Horn was a Division II All-American wide receiver in 2015. In spite of his success, Horn is changing his training habits, as he works to land a job in the NFL.
“When you’re in college, you’re a team guy,” says Horn. “You want to help bring your team up. Well here, it’s like you own your own business. That’s the biggest thing I had to adjust. Instead of leading a group of 100-plus guys, you’re leading yourself.”
Horn certainly isn’t training alone, catching on with St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis.
“It’s about being an independent contractor,” explains Ralph Reiff, Executive Director of SVSP , “and it’s about trying to get a helmet in the National Football League.”
“What we do at St. Vincent Sports Performance is put together a package that monitors all 24-hours of the athlete’s day.”
And it is an extensive package. Three separate workouts, from speed to position-specific to strength, nutritionists monitor diet, while rest and hydration are both carefully monitored.
“The proof is in the pudding,” explains Horn. “I’ve put on 11-12 pounds (since early January), and that’s good weight too. I’ve gotten faster, bigger, and stronger, and that’s why we’re all here.”
Horn played prep football at Cathedral High School in the Circle City and was named an AP First-Team All-State receiver his senior season, as the Irish won the 2010 IHSAA 4A State Championship.
"You knew when he was a sophomore he was going to be a really good player," says Cathedral head football coach Rick Streiff. "God gave him some gifts, but he's accentuated those gifts, and he's gonna take them as far as God will allow him to take them."
From Cathedral, Horn's gifts took him to the south side of town and Division II University of Indianapolis. Though Horn sat out, red-shirting his first season, he still made an immediate impression.
"Without a doubt, one of our hardest workers, day in and day out on the practice field, and I think he made improvements every day," says U-Indy head coach Bob Bartolomeo.
"He kept getting better and better and better, and I think his best football is ahead of him."
Horn re-wrote the Greyhound record books, setting new school marks in both single season and career receptions (272 and 108) and receiving yards (3,562 and 1,396). Still, you won't see Horn's name among the top wideouts in the draft, or even in most complete mock drafts at all.
"It's no different than college and coming out of high school," says Horn. "It fuels my fire honestly. I don't look at it as a bad thing or anything like that. I kind of just do my work, keep my mouth shut, and keep grinding."
Comparing Horn to a familiar name to Indianapolis Colts' fans, Rick Streiff points to former Cathedral standout Jack Doyle, who went to Western Kentucky after his time with the Irish, went undrafted, but has played the last three years in the NFL with the Colts.
"(Horn) can play all the special teams, just like Jack does," says Streiff, "so there's a lot of similarities between the two players."
"The National Football League is about timing," explains Ralph Reiff. "It's about opportunity at that moment. It's about getting picked by the right team, and you've gotta be ready for your moment."
That moment is what Horn prepares for now: The ability to continue on from where his abilities have brought him so far.