Reveiz is no 'Rudy'

Reveiz is no 'Rudy'

Earlier this year a Knoxville TV reporter asked Nick Reveiz if he likes being Tennessee's version of "Rudy," the Notre Dame walk-on whose story was fodder for a Hollywood movie.

Being a nice guy, Nick Reveiz addressed the superficial question in superficial terms and played along.

"That's fine," he said. "Rudy I guess was a hard-working person, so that's what I'd like to be known as."

Actually, Nick Reveiz and Rudy Ruettiger have little in common, except that each wanted to play for his favorite football program badly enough to walk on.

Ruettiger rode the Fighting Irish bench for four years, never earned a scholarship and played just a few snaps in the final seconds of his final game. Conversely, Reveiz earned a UT scholarship a year ago, saw significant action last fall (starting one game) and came out of spring practice listed No. 1 at middle linebacker this year.

Still, Reveiz's story also might be worthy of a Hollywood script. At 5-10 and 225 pounds, he has overcome his humble beginnings and small stature by being exceptionally intense, competitive and instinctive.

"I get a little bit of my intensity from Dad," Nick says. "I get a little fire from my mom, too. My mom's a fiery person, too, so it's a little bit from both, I guess."

Nick's dad, Fuad Reveiz, set Vol records for career field goals (71), single-season field goals (27 in 1982) and longest field goal (60 yards in '82). He then played 11 distinguished seasons in the NFL. His oldest son decided he wanted to follow in those footsteps.

As Nick recalls: "From age eight I told him, 'Dad, I want to be like you. I just want to play football.' I still remember having that conversation: 'I want to play in the professionals, like you did.'"

Nick Reveiz may be a long-shot to play in the pros but that's OK. After all, he was a long-shot to play in the SEC just two years ago. Working in his favor is the fact that teams generally find a spot for a guy who exhibits a knack for being around the ball, and Nick Reveiz has that knack.

"I think it's really just how long I've been playing," he says. "I'd like to say I have a nose for the football. I just try to find the football every single play and try to get there every single play."

Obviously, Reveiz doesn't get to the football every single play but he gets there a lot more than Rudy Ruettiger ever did.

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