Joe Reed, a product of Randolph-Henry High School and the University of Virginia, was selected by the Los Angeles Chargers in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 25.
Reed’s hometown is Charlotte Court House, where he played football for Head Coach Mark McPherson at Randolph-Henry. As a senior member of the Statesmen, he rushed for 2,100 yards and 38 touchdowns. As a junior, the multi-purpose player hauled in 15 touchdowns receptions.
Reed leaves UVA as the school’s all-time kickoff return leader with 3,042 yards and five touchdowns. He is the only player in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history with over 2,700 kick return yards to average more than 28 yards per attempt. Only nine others have amassed over 3,000 kick return yards in FBS history. He was named as first-team kick returner on the 2019 Walter Camp All-American team.
Aside from his outstanding special teams numbers, Reed recorded 129 receptions for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns in four years as a Cavalier. On the ground, he added 34 rushing attempts for 172 yards and one touchdown.
Currently listed at 6-feet, 224-pounds (a running back’s build), Reed ran the 40-yard dash at an impressive time of 4.47 seconds at February’s NFL Combine draft preparation workout in Indianapolis.
Reed finds himself in a good situation as he joins a Chargers wide receiver corps that is in need of roster depth behind accomplished starters Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Aside from other incoming rookies and a few holdovers from 2019, the only current Charger receivers with any NFL production are Darius Jennings, Andre Patton and Jason Moore, who have a combined 35 career receptions.
As it stands for now, Reed has a good chance to earn a roster spot in 2020. Special teams play, which was Reed’s primary calling card at UVA, will be essential for him to contribute as a rookie. He will have to challenge current return man Desmond King for playing time, however.
When asked to convey his thoughts about going from the East Coast to the West Coast, Reed responded that he has never been further west than Louisiana, but he’s glad for the opportunity.
“I’m definitely excited,” he said. “I’ve been telling my friends and my girlfriend that I was trying to go to L.A., and I’m going to L.A. So, I haven’t been there but I’m definitely ready for the change of scenery and to just see what it has in store for me.”
For the full story, be sure to pick up a copy of the May 6 print edition of The Union Star. It is available on newsstands throughout the greater Brookneal area. Or call (434) 376-2795 to order a subscription to be delivered directly to your home or business.