thinks of himself as a kind of gardener.
"You plant the seeds and all of a sudden plants come up," Reiprish
said by phone the other day from Texas, where, as director of college scouting for the Super Bowl-bound New Orleans Saints, the Coal Township native was attending an all-star gathering of college players, far from the media crush in Miami, where most of the rest of the Saints organization was basking in the team's success.
Yet that success, in a way, always starts with Reiprish
They're the guys responsible for putting most of the players in Saints uniforms, and in recent years, they've been extraordinarily successful.
"It's real rewarding because we know we've had a hand in developing the makeup of the team," said Reiprish, a 1967 graduate of Lourdes Regional, who went on to play college football at Villanova before embarking on a coaching and scouting career which has now spanned close to four decades.
began that career as a graduate assistant coach at Austin Peay University
moved on to East Tennessee State and later North Alabama before becoming an area scout for the Seattle Seahawks
previously had done scouting through the BLESTO service and for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Reiprish, whose parents Elizabeth and John still reside in Coal Township, was hired as director of collegiate scouting for the Jacksonville Jaguars when they entered the NFL in 1994 and eventually was promoted to director of player personnel in 1998.
"It would be hard to imagine that Jahri would be as good as he
is as quickly as he
has become," Reiprish
went up against Albert Haynesworth of Tennesse and did a fine job," Reiprish
acted like he
belonged there, and knock on wood, he's
played four years and never missed a game since."
said Evans, a Philadelphia native who got to Bloomsburg
didn't play football his
senior season in high school because of a broken leg, had some intangibles working in his
a smart kid, and really smart about football," Reiprish
doesn't back off from anyone.
really two different people, the one on the field and really quiet off the field."
Evans was taken in the fourth round in 2006, three rounds ahead of Colston, who was actually a compensatory selection.
"The coaches weren't as excited about Marcus as they were Jahri," said Reiprish
came from a program where he
was one of the more dominating players at that level, but you never know how dominating kids really are.
Plus there was a situation with his
was dinged up a lot as a college player."
Unlike Evans, Colston has spent some time on the shelf with the Saints, but when he
has played has been spectacular.
When you add more known draft picks such as Reggie Bush, Sedrick Ellis and Will Smith to the mix, Reiprish
and his team of scouts have done quite a job.
"Coach (Sean) Payton deserves a lot of credit," Reiprish
"The coaches and the scouts have done a good job of working together."
spends much of his
time on the road evaluating talent, but usually does get to see home games.
Unlike most of the front office, his
Super Bowl week will consist of a day or two at the game, rather than the whole week, especially since now is the busiest time of year for scouts anyway.
"We're constantly working toward the draft (in April) from now on," Reiprish
In general, Reiprish
likes to draft players by their talent level rather than trying to fill a specific postional need.
"I think we're no different than anyone else that way," he