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Throughout his two-night official visit to Virginia Military Institute this past weekend, former Dover football standout Chad Reed found almost everything he was looking for in a college.

Not only did the massive senior tackle discover the right mix of football and academics at the Lexington, Va. campus; he also appreciated the school’s regimented structure, a set-up that would prepare Reed for his own potential career in the Army after college.

On Sunday morning, Reed gave VMI coaches his verbal commitment to join the Keydets, a Division I-FCS program that competes in the Big South conference.

“When I went for my official visit, the players were great,” Reed said in a phone interview Monday. “Also, the campus and surrounding area was really nice. I felt like I fit in.”

Reed can officially sign with VMI on Feb. 1. The school has offered him a full scholarship.

At 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, Reed likely projects to play offensive tackle for the Keydets. He fielded interested from a handful of Division I schools, and ultimately chose between offers from VMI, Robert Morris, Bloomsburg and Slippery Rock.

Reed will follow in the footsteps of his brother Seth, a 2006 Dover graduate who played football at Army. Unlike other service academies, VMI does not require students to serve in the military upon graduation.

“The optional commission for the military, I liked,” said Reed, who plans to major in psychology. “Like anybody who plays football, my goal is to play at the highest level. If that doesn’t work out, I want to work in the military.”

Reed said the opportunity to play for VMI offensive coordinator and line coach Matt Campbell, a former NFL lineman with the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins, was also a big draw.

As a senior this fall, Reed helped carve open holes for Dover’s explosive run game. The Eagles averaged a staggering 295.3 rushing yards per contest, en route to a 9-2 record and a share of the YAIAA Division II title. Reed was later named a Division II all-star by the league’s coaches.

At VMI, he’ll join a program trying to turn itself around under fifth-year coach Sparky Woods. The Keydets finished 2-9 in 2011, and have not posted a winning season since 1981.

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