When Jordan Reed left his home state of Connecticut to play for Florida, he dreamed of playing quarterback. The versatile threat at New Haven High School threw for 1,707 yards and 28 touchdowns while also rushing for 370 yards and eight scores.
“I thought I was going to be a [quarterback] the whole time,” Reed said at the NFL Scouting Combine.
In 2009, former NFL coach Charlie Weis became the new offensive coordinator for the Gators and Reed became Florida’s newest tight end.
“They used me my freshman year a little bit,” Reed said. “So I felt like I could do something with it, with some practice repetition, so that’s what I did.”
In 2012 Reed emerged as a first-team All-SEC pick, leading the Gators with 45 catches for 559 yards and three touchdowns. By the end of his career he accumulated 79 catches for 945 yards and six touchdowns.
Reed believes his experience and knowledge from his days playing quarterback helped his route running. Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan compared Reed to New England’s Aaron Hernandez–also a former Florida Gator–but says Reed is faster.
Both Hernandez and Reed grew up in Connecticut before heading to Gainesville and Reed says he’s modeled his game after the fellow Gator.
“The player I’m most similar to would probably be Aaron Hernandez right now, just because of his athleticism,” Reed said. “And we have similar athletic ability — I can create mismatches, run good routes, and just use my athleticism to my advantage.”
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