St. Michael’s Chris Reid will play defensive back and punter in Sunday’s U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl set for 2:30 p.m.

During the 2014 football season, Reid averaged more than 42 yards per punt and set a school-record with a punt of 71 yards. Throughout his career, he’s averaged 40 yards per punt. He credits his yearly improvement to Warriors assistant coach Chad Davis.

Reid signed a scholarship with the LSU baseball team last month after committing to the Tigers just before the start of his junior year. LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri offered Reid while he was at junior baseball nationals in Minnesota, and Reid committed the next day.

On Reid’s signing day, Mainieri told him he would be able to walk on to the Tigers football team during his sophomore season.

Until he became starting punter during his freshman season at St. Michael, football had always come second to baseball for him.

But after his junior year, playing college football became a possibility. He received football recruiting letters from Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Texas Tech and LSU.

“He’s just a smart guy that knows how to fit in and use his abilities the best he can,” St. Michael coach Paul Varnado said.

“For him to sign a scholarship with LSU, you have to be a great athlete and great baseball player. He is both.”

At one point in his career, Reid was on kickoffs, field goals and extra point kicks. But the heavy load took a toll on his lower back. However, before the start of his senior season, Reid decided to play defense.

Reid began to look at defensive schemes the week before the season opener and had two interceptions in the first game against Walker. He finished the season with seven interceptions.

“He’s always been a good athlete since he was a young kid,” Varnado said. “He’s always been able to move around and that’s why he plays shortstop and will be a walk-on kicker his second year.”

Reid is trying to soak in the excitement of playing with new coaches for the Red Stick Bowl . But he said the best part of this experience is his new teammates and opponents.

“The athletes are better,” Reid said. “The guys are bigger, stronger and faster, so that makes it fun. It makes everybody else better too. These guys out here are all great some way or another in what they do on the football field, and that’s why they got chosen here.

“It’s very honorable to be chosen to this, because it’s the best of the best in our area. It’s been fun learning new things and seeing the team coming together. It’s been pretty fun to be out here with these guys.”