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December 30, 2012

No. 3: Greg Reid dismissed by FSU, tears ACL after joining VSU

VALDOSTA — 2012 was a tumultuous year for Greg Reid.

The two-time Region 1-AAAAA Player of the Year with the Lowndes Vikings made all kinds of headlines this year. From being arrested in Lowndes County to being dismissed from Florida State to tearing ligaments in his knee, Reid was one of the year’s most talked about players in the local sports world.

In a year that started with promise for Reid, a projected second or third round NFL Draft pick in 2012 who opted to return to school and refine his football craft, ended with injury and disappointment.

The problematic summer and fall began for Reid in June, when he was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license and possession of marijuana by the Georgia State Patrol in Lowndes County. The arrest was his second in less than a year; he was arrested in Sept. 2011 in Tallahassee, Fla. for lying to police about the whereabouts of his motorized scooter.

Following the June arrest in Lowndes County, Reid’s year got worse. He was kicked off the Florida State football team and later tore ligaments in his knee after he joined the Valdosta State football team.

“It is very difficult, but I have to overcome this,” said Reid in September. “I had to mature a little bit. The littlest thing didn’t slow me down one bit and now this is by far the most trouble I’ve been in, and the most anything has ever happened to me.”

After a successful high school career at Lowndes, which included being named the region’s top player twice and leading the Vikings to three state championships in four seasons, Reid signed a national letter of intent to play at Florida State, starting in Aug. 2009.

Once with the Seminoles, Reid dazzled the Seminole faithful with his abilities in the return game, electrifying the crowd with the possibility of scoring nearly every time he touched the ball.

Sadly for Reid, though, he also made Seminoles fans cringe with his off-field actions.

A possible future NFL player on the field, Reid had plenty of off-the-field issues and mishaps to slow him down.

Along with his arrest during the 2011 season with the Seminoles, Reid, along with former Viking Telvin Smith, was suspended for a game after violating team rules, which, according to FSU, was not related to criminal behavior.

Regardless, Reid was a headache for the Florida State football program. Following his June arrest, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher had dealt with enough, and booted Reid from his football team.

Needing a new school to play football at in 2012, as it was too late to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft, Reid talked with various schools, including Valdosta State, West Georgia and Miles.

After a few weeks of speculation, Reid joined the hometown Blazers, who used former Viking quarterback and current Blazer graduate assistant coach Doug Belk to lure Reid to the team.

“It is a great pleasure to be part of this team,” Reid told The Times after joining the Blazers. “To come back to Valdosta, I know the atmosphere around here is real hot. It is all about football here, and that is the kind of program I wanted to come to. I am glad to be here.”

Immediately, Reid was expected to make an impact for the Blazers, who were already projected to compete for the national championship.

After his five-day acclimation period, Reid began competing in full-contact drills with the Blazers, rotating in at punt returner with junior Quin Roberson and at cornerback with Dominique Wheeler and Alex Webster.

Then, two weeks prior to the Blazers’ season opener against Saginaw Valley State, Reid suffered a season-ending knee injury during a team scrimmage.

Back to return a punt, Reid broke loose down the sideline of the Blazers’ practice field. Needing to beat just one guy, the punter, Reid attempted to make a move, but was tripped up.

Once he went down, he slowly got up and hobbled off the field. A week later, it was confirmed that Reid tore his ACL and that he would miss the entire 2012 season.

Reid had gone from needing less than 400 yards to break Deion Sanders’ punt return record at Florida State to being an injured after-thought at Valdosta State.

Without Reid, the Blazers were fine, eventually winning the Division II national championship. As for Reid, he continued to rehab at the Valdosta State facilities, making an appearance on the sideline at the Blazers’ 39-28 loss to West Alabama.

But, once the Blazers got into the thick of their game schedule, Reid was not seen with the team again.

Then, on Dec. 19, Reid announced via his Twitter page that he was going to enter the 2013 NFL Draft, forgoing a possibly fifth-year in college and an opportunity to develop his skills with the Blazers.

“I know I can be drafted and can play in the NFL,” Reid said in September. “I know the talent that I have. The biggest question is my knee and my attitude and stuff like that. I know I can handle my attitude situation and just rehabbing and getting them to know me.”

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