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Position Switch Pays Off for Florida's Reed

Posted Apr 20, 2013

After moving from quarterback to tight end, Florida's Jordan Reed finds himself a coveted NFL prospect.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It's never an easy proposition to switch positions -- especially for a recruit who dreamed of playing quarterback.

But that's exactly what Florida tight end Jordan Reed did, and it paid off.

"I thought I was gonna be a QB the whole time," Reed said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "That was my dream. But it actually worked out being a tight end, so I can't complain."

When Reed first came to Florida, he redshirted as a true freshman. As a redshirt freshman the following year, he still played quarterback. Then Charlie Weiss came to the Gators as offensive coordinator.

At that point, Reed decided he would switch positions -- and stick with one as opposed to becoming a "jack-of-all-trades."

"I wanted to master a certain position," he said.

So why tight end?

"I felt like it was my best shot," he said. "I was familiar with it. They used me my freshman year a little bit. So I felt like I could do something with it, with some practice repetition, so that's what I did."

By the end of his career, the 6-foot-2, 236-pound Reed had accumulated 79 catches for 945 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for five touchdowns and threw three more.

The fact that he put up most of those statistics outside of the position he always dreamed of playing didn't bother Reed.

"No sir -- I was just happy to be playing for the Gators," he said. "That was a dream of mine, and I was just happy to be out there starting."

Reed said he finally "felt like a tight end" in 2012, even using his knowledge from his days as a quarterback to help his route-running. He expects to continue his growth in the NFL, and has modeled his game after a fellow Florida Gator, Aaron Hernandez.

“I want to be more own player, but the player I'm most similar to would probably be Aaron Hernandez right now, just because of his athleticism," Reed said. "And we have similar athletic ability -- I can create mismatches, run good routes, and just use my athleticism to my advantage."

Though it was a hard decision to leave early, Reed felt like now was his time.

"I was close to my dream and I feel like I could reach it right now," he said. "It's been my dream since I was a young guy to go the NFL and play for a team. I had the opportunity, so I took it."