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After one of the more impressive spring camp performances and earning his way to being named the projected starting linebacker for the Utes going in 2022, sophomore Karene Reid is focused on becoming a more vocal leader as he assumes a leadership position so early in his career.

A year ago, Reid was still a fairly unknown name who had simply performed well in the spring game, and that was as much exposure we'd had to him. Now, a little more than a year later, Reid is not only a projected starter, but has since earned a scholarship and is prepared to take his game to the next level.

"Being a walk-on last year, it created a mindset that no one thinks I'm as good as anyone else, and I've got to prove it every day. My worst fear is to lose that, so that freshman walk-on mentality, I'm gonna carry it for the rest of my life. Even though I am in a different position, I still have that chip on my shoulder because I try to remember every day where I came from. Even now, I have my depth chart put up on the wall from when I first got there. I see my name at the bottom and I try to look at it every day to see where I came from," Reid explained.

While Reid was able to take more snaps than anyone else currently in the room, he's still incredibly young in his career and is about to step into a much bigger role. But despite the tall order, Reid is embracing his new responsibilities and is focused on becoming the most well-balanced leader he can be.

"First of all, I never wanted to be someone thats all talk or just leads vocally. I'm already a laid back type of person and so first and foremost, I want to lead by example. Because that is my personality, some of the goals I have is to be more vocal. I think if I can continue to earn the respect of the other linebackers and the defense, it should come pretty naturally," Reid said.

"On the field, that's when I am most comfortable and in my element," Reid added. "I'll be the loudest voice and the most vocal because that is what we need. I am speaking more about when it comes to the meeting room, the weight room and the workouts, just trying to make sure that I am bringing that positive energy that we need as a team. That is my focus."

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So while some fans may be worried about who is going to replace Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell, they really shouldn't be. Sure, Reid is young and there may still be a bit of a learning curve, but overall, Reid is more than capable of fulfilling the role. After what he showed last year and the spring camp performance he had, Reid should be on par to lead the linebackers with his play and voice.

For more exclusive FanNation AllUtes content, including more from Reid, individuals can check out the link below to the listen to the second episode of the Karene Reid podcast. 

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