Reed Growing Into Role

Sometimes I forget that he hasn't been at his position for an entire year yet. Sophomore Jordan Reed was recruited to Florida to play quarterback and did so as he redshirted in year one under Urban Meyer. In year two, he started at tight end and then was forced to play quarterback in an offense that had zero identity. Though he showed promising tools as a QB, this staff has kept him at tight end.

One thing myself and I believe others have had trouble grasping with Jordan Reed is watching him last year go from an athlete that behind center could turn up field and make big time dynamic plays with the ball in his hands. He would run by, or over folks whatever that moment called for.

This year we have seen him catch a ball and not show nearly the football savvy he had a year ago. Fighting for that first down has been tough for the sophomore that wants his position to be tight end.

For Reed, he explained to the Florida media on Tuesday that you get a whole new perspective when you are on the receiving end of a pass as opposed to a guy that may tuck and run looking straight ahead at the defense.

"Running after the catch is kind of difficult," Reed explained when trying to compare the difference of playing a running quarterback and a pass catcher. "As a quarterback you see everything in front of you and when you get the ball receiving you have your back turned to the defense."

One thing we are starting to see is that light come on a little more and more every game. Reed actually had his best day as a receiver for Florida on Saturday in the loss against South Carolina. He was certainly a hot target for senior quarterback John Brantley with five receptions for 62 yards on the day. The receiving yards were more than half of what the entire rest of the roster did on the day.

Reed likes the expanded role and understands it will get even more as he progresses further in the offense.

"It felt good to get the ball in my hands," he said. "I tried to make some plays and just trying to get better. I am just trying to help the team out any way I can."

He is starting to get things easier now that he has been at the one position for a while.

"I am more comfortable playing tight end in the games and knowing my role," he said."

The Gators rank 9th in the SEC in total offense, a less than stellar stat to share, but Reed thinks the offense is slowly getting better.

"It feels like we are getting better and that's what we are trying to do," he said. "I think we are a young team and we have a lot of maturing to do… that is our main problem right now."

One player that is looking to have a big take off in production according to Reed is true freshman tight end A.C. Leonard, the only other scholarship tight end on the roster. Leonard had two catches against South Carolina last weekend, the most in his short career at Florida so far. Leonard had a knee injury in the preseason and that set him back a little as he missed the first three games of the season.

"He's doing good and getting better every day," reed said of Leonard. "His role is going to increase." (He was slowed by his preseason injury) a little bit but he came back strong."

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