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Trovon Reed: Offense, defense and so much more at Auburn
Dec. 29, 2014

Auburn's Trovon Reed, defensive back, moves into position against Georgia this season

By Charles Goldberg

TAMPA, Fla They could have moved Trovon Reed from receiver to defensive back with a wink and a nod, buried the offensive player on the defensive depth chart and moved on.

Auburn said it would give the senior a chance and kept its word.

Reed, who has played just about everything at Auburn, will wrap up his college career against Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl on Thursday with a thank you to the school that supported him, from signing day, to being a receiver, to being a long-ago Wildcat quarterback to a defensive back who was thrown in the mix and played there as a fifth-year senior.

"I appreciate those guys for giving me a chance because they didn't have to give me a chance. They could have just brushed me to the side," Reed said. 

"These are the moments I'll never forget."

It was part of his education at Auburn, a learning experience that went beyond catching passes or defending them.

"I'm going to take away on how to be a man," Reed said. "They taught me how to be a man in every aspect in life, the good, the bad, the ugly. You have to remain a man and to have character. Auburn has taught me a lot like that."

Reed said he became that man at Auburn. He had friends who helped and who shared a common bond. He and Quan Bray lost their mothers, Reed before he signed, Bray while at Auburn. They became fast friends. It was special, then, when Reed made the first interception of his career, and Bray returned a punt for a touchdown, against San Jose State this season.

Bray said after that one that is was "really crazy, because I texted him before the game, 'Let's go out and have fun and make plays.' He caught an interception and I ran a punt return back."

Reed said Auburn football built that bond.

"I talk to Quan Bray every time before the game. A lot of people don’t have a story like we have. We've got angels over us," Reed said during the season.

Secondary coach Melvin Smith worked with Reed, the receiver, and got him on the field as defensive back.

"I appreciate Coach Smith from the bottom of my heart for coaching me and giving me a real opportunity to play and compete for the spot, and to compete with the game was on the line," Reed said Monday. "He trusted me in my first year.

That's first year as a defensive back. But Reed has been around, signing back in 2010, playing a little that season before earning a redshirt season after getting hurt.
He has stats like few others, at least modern-day players. His current career stats feature 39 catches for 384 yards, 17 yards rushing, 11 punt returns for 63 yards and, as defensive back, two interceptions and 10 tackles.

"I had my shot to be everything that they promised me in recruiting," Reed said. "Some things didn't go as planned. I don't question it, I just keep moving forward and keep working."

Reed said during the season he was always a defensive back at heart. But it had been four years since he had played defense. But he had friends, like Jermaine Whitehead and Jonathon Mincy, who knew what to do.

"It was tough at first," he said. "I had my guys like Jermaine and Mincy, who had been there before, helping me through the process. When I got down on myself, they picked me back up. It was a tough process, but I found a way to get through it, just like all the other ones."

Reed smiles thinking back to the season-opener against Arkansas.

"I'm a way better cornerback from the first game to where I am now. The first game I was making first-time mistakes…biting on everything. Now, I just go out there with poise," he said.

Reed said his next stop, he hopes, is an NFL camp.

"That's the position I have the most confidence in. I have a big body, a big frame, and I feel like it could be an advantage," he said.

But that doesn't work, he plans to stay around the game.

"I want to go into coaching," he said.

He's already ahead of that game. He knows all the positions.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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