To say that Alabama had a tough time defeating Clemson to win the 2015 College Football Playoff national championship is an understatement. Bama, which had made the championship game with a 38-0 win over Michigan State, had it going on offense against Clemson in Glendale, Ariz., but the Crimson Tide couldn’t get much separation before finally prevailing, 45-40.
Following a fourth quarter Kenyan Drake kickoff return for a Crimson Tide touchdeown that seemed to have iced the game at 38-27, Clemson’s outstanding quarterback Deshaun Watson drove the Tigers downfield for a touchdown with under five minutes to play. Trailing by five points, Clemson went for a two-point conversion with the speedy Watson running outside.
Also running was Bama defensive tackle Jarran Reed, all 6-4, 313 pounds of him. Reed ran down Watson to prevent the score that would have pulled the Tigers to within a field goal of the Tide.
Many expected Reed to declare for the NFL draft following his junior year (as did his defensive line running mate, All-America A’Shawn Robinson, this year), but Reed elected to return, and now is considered a likely first round draft choice.
In addition to helping Alabama to a 14-1 record, the Southeastern Conference championship, and two wins in the CFP, Reed received All-SEC honors for his play on what was recognized as the nation’s best defense.
He had 28 starts in his two seasons at Alabama and as a senior was fourth on the team with 57 tackles. Known as a run-stopper, 56 of those tackles came on running plays. The other was a sack, one of five tackles he had behind the line of scrimmage. He also had two pass break-ups, eight quarterback pressures, and a fumble recovery.
Reed, a native of Goldsboro, N.C., is taking part in the NFL combine this week.