Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 25, 2014

Former Lowndes star signs with St. Louis Rams

VALDOSTA — Greg Reid never lost faith - in his God-given abilities, or that he'd have an opportunity to play in the National Football League.

Still after two knee surgeries within a year and two years without playing in a game, one word described the former Lowndes High and Florida State star's feelings after signing with the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.

"It's a blessing actually," Reid said in a phone interview Monday, adding he planned to leave for St. Louis today to get started on his pro career. "It's a blessing.

"It's just the first step right now. I still have to make it past camp and everything like that,  so it's just a step right now that I'm going through in my life."

Signing an NFL contract seemed almost guaranteed when Reid starred as a cornerback and punt returner for three seasons with the Seminoles. He started at cornerback his final two seasons at FSU and led the nation averaging 18.4 yards per punt return as a freshman. Averaging at least 10 yards per return the next two years with at least one return touchdown each year, he was poised to break Deion Sanders' school record for punt return yardage.

However, Reid was dismissed from the team for violation of team rules prior to his senior season and the former Viking returned home, transferring to Valdosta State. Slated to start at cornerback as well as return punts for the Blazers, Reid tore his ACL in practice the week before VSU's 2012 season opener, missing the year and the run to the Division II national championship.

Still, Reid had his sights set on the NFL and worked out at FSU's pro day last spring in hopes of impressing NFL scouts and getting drafted.

Instead, in pushing himself to be ready, it was discovered the ligament was still partially torn and Reid underwent a second surgery last May.

It taught the speedster that sometimes it is best to slow down.

"It was the same mindset and I knew I could overcome it," he said. "Part of going through it a second time was that that first I knew that I wanted to go extremely hard and get back. But that wasn't the right way to get back from an ACL surgery.

"It was my first time being injured and it taught me to be patient and let it fully recover."

But it didn't deter his vision, and he again worked out last week at the Seminoles' pro day and finally showed he was back to full health.

"I had a lot of film, I just had to show people I was healthy," Reid said, adding that he had a checkup on his knee with Dr. James Andrews - who performed the second surgery - last week after the pro day and was given a clean bill of health. "Once I got healthy, I knew I could play with any and everybody.

"I think it had a lot to do with my film from Florida State, and everybody was just wanting to check and make sure I was fully healthy. That was the main thing."

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