Earlier this week Florida State officially granted Greg Reid his release, and now he is allowed to transfer to a program in a lower division of football.
According to Ed Hooper of the Valdosta Daily Times, Greg Reid was at Valdosta State's football practice on Thursday. Per Hooper, VSU coach David Dean was emphatic that Reid was not enrolled and hadn't indicated any plans to, but there's more than a few reasons this match would make sense.
Reid is a Lowndes High School graduate who is from Valdosta, he has friends on the team and is familiar with the area. In a way it almost seems like a natural progression.
Personally speaking though, as somebody who found Greg Reid to be a likeable person in my brief interactions with him, I hope for his sake he picks another school.
Many of Reid's off-the-field issues, problems that ultimately cost him his chance to play at Florida State, stemmed from incidents that either occured in Valdosta or involved Reid's old friends from the south Georgia town. Reid was in his hometown of Valdosta in July when he was taken in for driving on a suspended license and marijuana possession.
In late 2011 he was arrested for lying to police about an incident involving a motor-scooter to puportedly cover the tracks of a friend from his hometown.
When you saw Reid around Florida State, at practice, in the hallways, he seemed great. Heck, he was one of the inspirational leaders on the team. He has a passion for football that is contagious.
When Reid spoke during the spring about turning the proverbial corner and really maturing I do really think all of that was true – in Tallahassee.
All things considered though, moving back home to Valdosta may not be the best way for Reid to get re-focused on football and his NFL goals though.
One of the schools that seems to be syonymous with taking football players who are booted from D-1 schools is Northern Alabama, which recently helped former Seminole Preston Parker and former Gator Janoris Jenkins get back on an NFL track.
Jenkins was a second round pick in last year's draft and Parker, while undrafted, has found a solid role as a slot receiver in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense over the past few seasons. One of the reasons Northern Alabama was likely a good fit for both was that it wasn't close to home for either.
Jenkins hails from Pahokee and Parker was out of Delray Beach, so while Tallahassee and Gainesville were still within arms length of some of the bad influences. North Alabama University, in a different timezone up in tiny Florence, Alabama provided some insulation.
I'm not saying Northern Alabama is the answer for Reid or even that Valdosta State isn't, but Reid's NFL aspirations are on thin ice and at this point I'm not sure they can bear the weight of anymore bad influences or missteps. Maybe it would just be better if get even farther away from home.
Mike Harris, who graduated from FSU and is now a Jaguar after two years at a community college points to that time and that experience of really getting away from home as vital in his development. Harris said last year that heading to El Camino CC for two year before FSU absolutely was one of the best choices he made and was vital to his getting to Florida State and being successful.
“Going to Junior college was a great experience for me I think it was the best choice I ever made in my life to go out to California and play two years of juco ball,” said Harris. “It made me grow up and just get to know what could be taken away and just focus on the things I need to get done, on the field, off the field and just in life. It was a great experience for me.”
Hopefully Greg Reid makes the best choice for himself.
I'll have an update when Reid finally does decide where he'll suit up in 2011...