Even as a sophomore, a few games into what would become a career as a three-year starter, Millbrook’s Reid Herring was cool.
The Wildcats were tied late with East Wake in a regular-season game in 2013, Herring’s first year starting at quarterback.
Now a rising senior, he cited that moment as one of his most memorable.
With 46 seconds left against the Warriors, Herring said, he connected with teammate Marcus Marshall for a game-winning touchdown pass.
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“I’m just used to being in the spotlight,” said Herring, a three-sport athlete. He is a shooting guard on the school’s basketball team and a pitcher in the spring. “That really helps me in big moments. It helps me mentally. It really helps me succeed.”
Millbrook football coach Clarence Inscore said it’s rare a multisport athlete is that dedicated to each of his or her sports.
“You just don’t see it anymore,” Inscore said. “Most kids now are specializing in one sport, especially (an athlete) that’s already got a Division I scholarship offer, one that’s already committed. But still, (Herring) wants to play baseball. He’s got a love and passion for another sport. I think it’s great for him. It keeps him mentally sharp.
“You can go out and practice drills all day, but when you’re in competition and have to compete against someone else, it brings something out of him.”
Last season, the ECU verbal commit threw for 2,100 yards with 17 passing touchdowns. This year, he started off by tossing two touchdowns in Millbrook’s 34-32 season-opening win on Friday. He opened the scoring with a 31-yard pass to Jason Graham on the Wildcats’ first possession from scrimmage. He later found Isaiah Bowman for a touchdown, knotting the game at 13-13 in a tit-for-tat affair.
I know they have a great program, I really like the coaching staff and Greenville is just a great place. I’ve just grown up loving (football) more.
Millbrook QB Reid Herring on committing to East Carolina
Herring found his identity on the field early, and it came full circle when his team hosted a squad it typically plays close year after year. He brought with him years of experience, and the 6-foot-3, 180-pound quarterback understands just how much the team relies on his signature calm.
Herring finished 10-of-13 with 163 yards against East Wake. He went all but 50 seconds in the first quarter without an incomplete pass (5-of-6, 60 yards).
He said leadership means “leading by example in the classroom first. You have to do everything right so everybody looks up to you and you keep the team straight.”
Distracted by junior running back Larry Rountree III, who dazzled in the second half, the Warriors couldn’t see Herring coming when he moved Millbrook to the 5-yard line early in the fourth. Herring faked a handoff to Rountree before toting the ball in for Millbrook’s final touchdown, solidifying the win.
He didn’t panic when an East Wake touchdown provided the final margin with 7:07 left to play. Herring was sure to maintain possession and his composure to finish off the visitors.
“He’s a pretty confident kid,” Inscore said. “He’s got a lot of experience. He’s a three-sport athlete, so he brings a lot of experience from other sports as well. He’s calm. He’s kind of cool under pressure. I think he’s got that presence where he can calm everyone down.”
Morgan 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan