Move to TE Just Made Sense for Reed

It didn't take a well-qualified football eye to recognize Jordan Reed's athletic ability. The only way observers at practice last season couldn't see the athleticism dripping from the freshman is if they didn't look at all.

"You'd have to be blind not to see that he can run real fast, jump real high and he's got great lower body strength," Florida tight ends coach Brian White said. "He can catch real well."

The move from quarterback to tight end made for Jordan Reed made too much sense. He played quarterback for the scout team, but whenever he would tuck the ball and run with it, the same thought was in everyone's mind that watched.

Why isn't this guy playing another position?

With Tim Tebow at quarterback last year and John Brantley suited to play up to two seasons under center, Reed was blocked from seeing the field until 2011 at the earliest.

The Florida coaches approached him near the end of the 2009 season and gave him the option of switching to tight end.

"They didn't force it on me," Reed said. "It was my choice. They told me I could play either spot, but I chose to play tight end."

The main reason Reed agreed was playing time. He played quarterback since he was a little kid, always wanting to be the focal point of the offense. Moving to tight end promised playing time and touches, but it also featured a wide-open starting position vacated when Aaron Hernandez left for the NFL.

"I thought he was receptive to it because he wants to play," White said. "Players like to play. He doesn't want to sit and watch. He's too talented of a young man to sit and watch for another year. He's got too much ability. That would be a travesty, when he can be helping this football team win games, which is what he's going to do this year."

After being able to work out at tight end during spring practice, Reed doesn't regret making the position change. He is still learning about tight end during every practice.

"It didn't take as much mental work as quarterback," Reed said. "Honestly, I just felt like I could be better at tight end than at quarterback."

As it would be for any player, the key adjustment comes in blocking. The Gators will throw him into the fire and expect him to block from his first play on the field.

Coach White has spent plenty of time, sometimes through extra work after practice, working with Reed on improving his blocking.

"It's unbelievable the transition he has made, first of all as a young man," Reed said. "To see his eyes right now, he's got confident eyes. It's a totally different demeanor than last year."

When Reed isn't putting in extra work on his blocking, he is working with the Florida quarterbacks. The Gators debuted a wildcat package in the spring with Reed taking running and throwing the football.

"I usually go after practice and work with the quarterbacks a little bit," Reed said. "It really just depends. But I have been working on it."
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