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2 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: D.J. Reed

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In which BracketCat counts down the second day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of defensive back D.J. Reed.

#2 D.J. Reed
D.J. Reed (2) put everyone else on their heels with his stellar breakout season in 2016. What will he do for an encore this year as a junior captain?
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Goal No. 2: UNSELFISHNESS. There is no “I” in TEAM.

#2 D.J. Reed

Redshirt Junior | 5-9 | 188 lbs. | Bakersfield, California
D.J. Reed
D.J. Reed
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Previous Colleges: Fresno State University, Cerritos College
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Dennis J. Reed (b. Nov. 11, 1996) is a former community college prospect who had a stellar first year both at defensive back and as a kick returner in 2016. He will continue to lock down one of the cornerback positions while battling for kickoff return duties.

Entering 2017, Reed has been elected a team captain and is on the preseason watch lists for the Bednarik, Bronko Nagurski, and Jim Thorpe Awards.

Last season, Reed played in all 13 games with 12 starts, tying for second on the team with 75 tackles to go along with three interceptions and a Big 12-leading 19 passes defended en route to Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year accolades from the league’s coaches and ESPN.

He also was a first-team All-Big 12 pick by the coaches and a second-team selection by the Associated Press who became the first first-year K-State defensive back to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors since Nigel Malone in 2011.

Reed tied for third in school history and fifth nationally during the 2016 season in passes defended. And he tied for team-high honors with three interceptions, a mark that tied for seventh in the Big 12, after returning one of his interceptions 35 yards for a touchdown against Texas Tech to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.

Reed collected a season-best four pass breakups at Baylor and came back with three the next week against Kansas. He also had two breakups against Texas and a season-best 14 tackles at Iowa State, while he had nine at TCU and eight against Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl.

Reed returned kickoffs during the final four contests, averaging 28.3 yards on nine attempts, including a season-long return of 76 yards at Baylor. He totaled 80 return yards against Texas A&M, the fifth-most in K-State bowl history, and was named to ESPN.com’s All-Big 12 Underclassmen team.

Reed played under head coach Sean McKeown at Independence High School in Bakersfield, where he earned all-league honors for two straight years.

He totaled six interceptions and five forced fumbles, while he amassed 1,150 total yards and 13 touchdowns on offense. But Reed also became the first person in school history to earn team MVP honors in both football and basketball.

He redshirted during the 2014 season at Fresno State under head coach Tim DeRuyter.

Reed then transferred to and played in 11 games in 2015 for Cerritos College under head coach Frank Mazzotta.

Reed totaled 42 tackles, three pass breakups and two interceptions on the year. He helped to lead the Falcons to a National Division Northern Conference championship and a berth into the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

Reed carded a season-high eight tackles at Orange Coast and backed that up with seven stops against Fullerton.

He recorded his first interception against El Camino, while he finished his year with a 74-yard interception return touchdown against Long Beach City.