Jacksonville rookie Chris Reed brings an intriguing backstory with him to training camp, but the offensive lineman knows it will take more than an interesting past to stick in the NFL.
Reed, who signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State, was a standout track and field athlete, in addition to playing football. Reed was an 11-time Division II All-American and won national titles in outdoor shot put in 2013 and 2014.
This summer marks the first time the 6-foot-5, 300-pound guard has been able to focus solely on football. He was part of an offensive line that helped generate 6,000 yards of offense and 82 touchdowns for Minnesota State last season.
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Reed said the difference between Division II football and life in the NFL is a noticeable one.
"Coming from a small college, everything here is very professional," Reed said, via the Florida Times-Union. "It's different. But getting here was a goal of mine, and I'm going to make the most of it. Not only to represent D-II but also my school and everyone else who looks up to me."
While he may be a longshot to make the final roster, Reed believes he offers upside worth investing in.
"Talking to the Jacksonville guys, one of my biggest strengths is I've never done one sport year-round," Reed said. "So I have a lot of improvement I can make. I'm still kind of raw at football. I don't think I hit my best in college. I want to be my best."
(h/t Florida Times-Union)