Eric Reid Gets to Work

Eric Reid took one look at the weight room at 49ers headquarters and decided he wanted to work out as soon as possible.

Reid's work ethic didn't take long to come out. Even more impressive, Reid made that declaration after a hectic day of traveling.

It's been a whirlwind of a week for the three-year starter and fifth LSU underclassmen to be selected in the first round in the past three NFL Drafts. Reid left Baton Rouge, La., for New York on Tuesday to attend the first-round of the draft and woke up at 5 a.m. Friday morning fly out to his new home in San Francisco. "I've done quite a bit of traveling," said Reid with a smile on his face at his introductory press conference.

Even so, the LSU junior saw the 49ers weight facility at the team's headquarters in Santa Clara and made his mind up that he wanted to work out later in the day.

"I'm looking forward to working out in the afternoon," he said, ignorning any signs of jet-lag. Reid made a positive impression in his first press conference in the Bay Area as a member of the 49ers. It wasn't difficult to do for a high-character player who was a second-team All-American and an All-SEC Academic Honor Roll selection in 2012.

Reid was excited to be in the Bay Area the moment he stepped of the plane at SFO.

In fact, the first person who greeted Reid at the airport felt his appreciation. It just so happened to be his new position coach, Ed Donatell.

The LSU safety, selected No. 18 overall in the first round, gave San Francisco's secondary coach a big hug much like the one he gave NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday night.

"It was awesome," Reid said of his first interaction with his new position coach. "When I got off the plane, he was right there waiting for me. I had my hat on ready and I was just looking forward to getting here."

Reid was pleased to finally land in the Bay Area and did so in his new 49ers draft cap, the very same one the NFL gave him the night before. After Reid's short ride to the team's facility, the 6-foot-1, 213-pound safety met with the rest of the 49ers coaching staff and members of the front office before speaking to the press.

He later said he was eager to meet with veteran teammates, including Pro Bowl safety Donte Whitner.

"I want to be a sponge," Reid said of his future friendship with San Francisco's starting strong safety.

Reid was voted as captain by his teammates on a team that finished among the nation's best in points allowed, total yards and rushing yards. Now, he wants to learn from the leaders on San Francisco's respected defensive unit.

As for goals, Reid didn't go overboard in proclaiming his future with the 49ers.

He's taking a simple approach.

"I just want to get here and get to work," said the safety with 199 career tackles and six interceptions in three seasons (29 starts).

Reid understands there's an opportunity for him to start alongside Whitner in 2013, but he's not claiming it just yet. Instead, Reid wants to do it the right way.

"A starting role has to be earned, said the second safety in LSU history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, joining LaRon Landry, who was selected sixth overall by Washington in 2007.

"I want to impact the team in a positive way," Reid said. The LSU junior has already impacted lives in a positive way, most notably, his daughter LeiLani, who joined him on stage at the draft.

"She told me she wanted to come," Reid remarked. "I couldn't say no."

LeiLani told Goodell about her father when she got on stage, sharing Reid's uniform number with the NFL commissioner.

Reid wasn't bothered by sharing the stage with his daughter, he appreciated every minute of the moment.

"She stole the spotlight, but I don't mind at all," the LSU safety said. Reid has work to do now that he's joining the 49ers. Once he decides on a new uniform number, he'll focus on refining his footwork and technique to become an improved defensive back.

"There's always ways to improve your craft," he said.

For now, Reid can take pride in joining a respected defensive unit and one that he watched closely in college.

"I played at LSU, so I'm a big fan of good defenses," he said.

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