Aug. 10, 2014
From receiver to cornerback, Trovon Reed has embraced his move to defense
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Trovon Reed isn't upset about his move from receiver to defensive back. Why would he? He's at home.
"I wanted to do it coming out of high school. That was my whole goal, that’s why I went to the All-American game playing DB. That’s the story," said the Auburn veteran who made the move to cornerback in spring practice and is continuing to embrace the new position this fall.
Auburn needed Reed to play receiver and — do you remember? — a Wildcat quarterback when he arrived in 2010. Thirty-seven catches and 11 punt returns later, he made the move to defense, going to where he's needed this season as Auburn loaded up at receiver.
Now, he says, he's "real comfortable. Confident, too."
"I'm still right in the mix. I’m not going to let myself get out of the mix. My pride is on the line." Not with his family and friends watching.
"I can't have them come all the way from Louisiana and I’m sitting on the bench, especially my senior year. I’m going to keep competing and getting better and better each day."
Reed played in Auburn's national championship season in 2010, running it twice against Clemson. But a lingering knee injury from high school prevented him from playing again and he got his year back. The fifth-year senior, wiser still, figures his receiving skills has made the transition easier. Still, covering the likes of Sammie Coates, Duke Williams and Quan Bray in practice is an eye-opener.
"Corner is not like receiver — sometimes you’re going to be get beat. If you just sit on that, then you’ll be messed up for the rest of the game," Reed said. "That’s what I had to learn going against guys like Sammie and Duke and Quan. Those are some of the types of guys you see in the league. They prepare me for anybody we line up against."
Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said this week that Reed had been slowed by a sore hamstring. Reed said he'll push through that. "Everything is good. I’ve just got to be smart. I can’t do anything stupid that hurts me or my teammates, hurts the team, the Auburn family. I’m just going to be smart."
Reed said he was a 195-pound receiver. Now, he's a 188-pound cornerback.
"I was doing a lot of blocking against those linebackers," he said. "I wanted to lose a little bit so I could run with guys like Sammie. You’ve got to have your wheels to run along with that guy."
Reed is one of the new guys on defense, practicing his old receiver buddies. That hasn't stopped him from talking up his game.
"On things that aren’t even supposed to get heated — they get heated. I’m running my mouth all the time."
He has to stick up for his fellow cornerbacks now.
"If they keep pushing us cornerbacks to do what we do, we’ve got something special coming."
Reed caught nine passes last season as Auburn finished with a 12-2 record, an SEC title and place in the BCS Championship Game. He says this year's Tigers are preparing for another run, and he could see that in Saturday's practice.
"I saw guys really flying around even though the heat was out there," he said. "We saw guys who were trying to finish, pushing it. Guys who couldn’t breathe and walk putting cold towels on their heads, but when Coach called them they were up ready to go."
Note: Fan Day is Sunday in Auburn Arena. Gates open at 3 p.m. Fans can get autographs from 3:30-5:30. Details here.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: