Tip Reiman ready for NFL Draft, next chapter as a pro

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — In his first weeks on campus, Tip Reiman didn’t give the appearance of a future NFL target, something Illinois head coach Bret Bielema still remembers all these years later.

“That first spring game, there was literally a play where he didn’t move,” Bielema said with a smile. “The ball was snapped and he didn’t move and I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ and he’s like, ‘Coach I’ve never been in that environment.’ I’m like there’s 8,000 people.”

From that moment as a walk-on to team captain in 2023, Reiman has seen and accomplished a lot in his time as an Illini. Now he’s ready for the next chapter, hearing his named call in the NFL Draft.

“From day one, my story’s kinda been underdog,” Reiman said. “Bet on yourself and those that are close around me believe and help me and uplift me into this process.”

Reiman’s athleticism and speed at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis caught the eye of scouts, making rounds on social media caught him a little off guard, bringing in a flood of attention online.

“My wife and I were like, ‘I think I might need two phones,'” Reiman joked. “I see all these guys with two phones and I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re big time.'”

Reiman worked tirelessly to prepare for the Combine, focusing on on the things he could control, both physically and mentally. The results paid off too, clocking a 4.64 40-yard dash time. It ranked sixth among tight ends at the Combine. Reiman’s 3-cone drill time of 7.02 seconds was third among tight ends, with the South Dakota native repping 28 bench press reps as well.

“I’m gonna train my buns off and I don’t have to train any more combine-specific things, so I’m excited for that, get back to what I love which is football and I get to train that and just watch a bunch of film and take care of my body,” he said. “I think it got my name out there as someone who can do everything on the field that you need them to do. Someone who’s dependable on all three downs and that’s exactly what I am.”

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night in Detroit. The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 overall pick.

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