When the St. Louis Rams kicked off their voluntary off-season workout program this week, former Florida State cornerback Greg Reid was amongst the first players through the door. In fact, Reid had arrived several days before the program even kicked off.
After a tumultuous couple of years that saw the Valdosta-native fight through two knee surgeries and a slew of off-the-field issues, Reid is chomping at the bit to start his NFL career.
The 5-9, 185-pound corner was signed by the Rams after an impressive performance last month at Florida State’s Pro Day — one in which he drew rave reviews from his former teammates and coaches alike.
“He’s a person I looked up to when I first came here, I kind of wanted to model my game after him and everything he did. He’s great and he still has it too,” said safety Terrence Brooks after the workout. “I was so happy to see him out there doing the drills, he looks great. I hope somebody takes a chance on him, because they’re going to get a good guy.”
The Rams took that chance, signing Reid to a three-year deal with undisclosed terms.
“Greg’s excellent pro day really sealed the deal for his signing,” said Reid’s agent, Derek Spearman. “The Rams were very interested in him immediately after that day.”
Added Reid: “I give all my thanks to God after going through so much and finally getting the chance to live my dream. It means the world to me to actually play with some of the best athletes in the world. I’m ready to put on the cleats and strap on the helmet.”
Indeed, Reid was so ready that he was amongst the first Rams players to arrive for the start of unofficial team workouts, which began this week.
“He’s excited to be part of such a great organization,” said Spearman. “I’ve already received a lot of positive feedback from the team about the off-season workouts Greg’s participating in.”
A couple of years ago, as he was preparing for the start of his senior season, Reid was considered by many to be a top draft prospect. His penchant for making big plays on defense and his ability as a return-man likely would have gotten him selected on the second day of the NFL draft (rounds two and three).
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, Reid was dismissed from Florida State’s football team just weeks before the start of the 2012 football season and then tore his ACL before ever taking the field at Valdosta State.
He made an ill-fated appearance at Florida State’s 2013 Pro Day but was a shell of his former self as he dealt with the ill-effects of his first ACL surgery — effects he admits he exacerbated by pushing himself too hard in his rehabilitation.
A few months later he went under the knife again.
“After [the second surgery] I kind of took a different approach and just laid back and left everything in God’s hands to be honest with you,” said Reid last month at FSU’s Pro Day. “I knew I had to train but not as much, that’s what I did and I got to the point where I started being able to run and do the drills I wanted to do. I’ve been training, I’ve been playing corner for a while so I know every little thing I need to do right, so that’s what I had to do so like I said I gave everything to God, left everything in God’s hands and I’m good now.”
Now healthy and ready to start his NFL career, Reid isn’t a slam dunk to make the Rams’ roster but has all the tools to make the necessary push. His best shot to make the team may be on defense as he will likely have to compete against former first-round pick Tavon Austin for return duties.
Reid certainly has the talent to realize his NFL dreams though, and now he has an opportunity to do it too.
It’s up to him, but being one of the first guys in the building to start off-season workouts? That certainly doesn’t hurt.
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