CUTiger: Who is the Houston Texans' D.J. Reader?

With the help of CUTigers, they give a closer look at the Houston Texans' rookie nose tackle D.J. Reader.

With the help of CUTigers, they give a closer look at the Houston Texans' rookie nose tackle D.J. Reader.

Trevor Groves of CUTigers gives us a closer look. 

I believe the Texans got somewhat of a bargain picking him up late in the 5th round. I think he dropped some because of the fact he left the team for personal reasons and missed the first half of the season. He might have been a  third-rounder or better otherwise. He had a good showing at the Combine and the Senior Bowl. Honestly, it's still a bit of a mystery why he decided to leave the team just before the start of the season. All anyone knows is that he had some personal issues he was sorting out, but it might have had something to do with depression and the loss of his father in the summer of 2014. In any case, the coaches and his teammates welcomed him back with open arms at the end of October, and he did a tremendous job keeping himself in football condition during his time off. He even recorded a sack in his first game back at Miami.

With Reader, you are getting a run-stuffing beast. Clemson used him primarily at the three-technique. He will eat up blocks and create a pile at the line of scrimmage. He is also quite an athlete--he played basketball and baseball in high school. In fact, he was a good enough pitcher to play for Clemson's prominent baseball program as a freshman.

Off the field, D.J. has a friendly, personable demeanor. He represented Clemson along with senior teammate Eric Mac Lain at the ACC Media Days last July before he left the team. It appeared that he was able to vanquish his personal demons during his hiatus from the team, and the coaches had nothing but good things to say about his attitude. He should be a good guy to have in the locker room, and if the Texans coach him up, he could be a strong contributor to their defensive interior.


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