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Reed plays inspired football

7/28/2009

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Trovon Reed can do a little bit of everything on the football field. Whether it's catching, running or throwing the football, the 6-foot, 172-pound rising senior from Thibodaux (La.) and ESPNU 150 Watch List member can make opposing defensive coordinators wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

He put his versatility on display Saturday at the inaugural Champion Gridiron Kings (Tuesday, ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET), which is part of the ESPN RISE Games presented by Target at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Reed had three long receptions for 118 yards, including a 59-yarder in the first half of a 20-14 loss to the Midwest squad in the consolation game of the Gridiron Kings competition Saturday afternoon at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. Reed also had eight receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns against the Southeast squad.

The game featured 64 of the nation's top skill-position players from the Class of 2010, and you can make a case for Reed as the best all-around player in the country.

But Reed would gladly trade in his boatload of football talent for the chance to see his mother again. On March 6, Reed's mother, Roszaina Johnson, died from stomach cancer.

"She meant the world to me," Reed said. "I'd give anything back. I'd give up sports, I'd give up my life. I just want my momma back on this earth."

Reed is trying to honor his mother with his play on the gridiron. His family and friends are helping him in his cause. On July 18, a dinner was held in Thibodaux to help raise money for Reed's football endeavors. And thanks to the inspiration of his mother, he has some big goals in mind.

"Before she died, she knew she was sick and we all knew she was sick, so she sat me down and she was like, 'Whatever happens to me, don't stop. Just do what I told you could do.' She told me I could be a pro football player. And I'm not looking toward the pros, but I feel like, that's what she wanted me to do, so I have to do it."

Although the NFL is a long way off, Reed flashes pro potential with his speed, his ability to stop on a dime and accelerate out of his cuts, and the talent to take it to the house on any given play.

His breathtaking athleticism was on display his junior season when he led Thibodaux in passing, rushing and receiving and was named both Region and District Offensive MVP. Reed completed 28 of 52 passes for 694 yards and 10 touchdowns, ran for 746 yards and 10 scores and caught 19 passes for 344 yards and a touchdown.

The Tigers, meanwhile, went 10-1 and advanced to the Class 5A state quarterfinals, where they lost to Barbe (Lake Charles, La.). Thibodaux's two playoff wins last year were the first postseason victories for the school since 1991, when it won the state title.

In the first of the wins, a 26-21 triumph over Covington (La.) in the bi-district round, Reed had seven receptions for 146 yards. Against St. Paul's (Covington) in the next round, Reed had 256 total yards, two touchdown runs and a touchdown reception in the second half to lift the Tigers to a 25-22 victory.

Despite being able to play multiple positions, Reed said the majority of schools want him to line up at slot receiver in college, and he said Auburn, Oregon, Florida and Missouri are just some of the programs he's considering at this point.

"I'm not being cocky, but I can do so much stuff," said Reed, who's visiting Disney for the first time. "Most people can only do one thing, but I can line up anywhere and basically make plays."

And Reed knows that with each play he makes, his mother is guiding him every step of the way.


Jon Mahoney covers high school sports for ESPN RISE Magazine.