This past week, Michigan State Spartan Vision released a feature piece on MSU wide receiver, Jayden Reed. Spartan Vision is a highly decorated, media production company for Michigan State Athletics They produce a weekly documentary series called “Spartans All-Access.” The series does a deep dive on athletes of the university, their personal lives, and upbringings. In this edition Reed opened up about the death of his father.
Sabian Reed passed away when his son was 15 years old. It’s a tragic incident for any child. Jayden on the other hand, used it as motivation to push himself to play at the college level. “I think about him everyday” Jayden said in his interview. “It definitely pushed me to go harder, and it makes me want to achieve my goals for him.” Now the Chicago native finds himself on an undefeated Big Ten school under an intelligent and passionate coaching staff. The perfect recipe for him to reach his goals and help Michigan State turn some heads this season.
Big Plays Lead to Big Wins
A lot of hype surrounds Kenneth Walker lll and the show he has put on running the football in the early going of this season. The passing game has quietly been just as impressive for the green and white. Quarterback Payton Thorne has thrown 9 touchdowns in just three games played. Jalen Nailor and Connor Heyward have been reliable targets, while Walker lll has also caught passes out of the backfield. But it has been Jayden Reed that is giving opposing defenses head aches when prepping to play Michigan State.
Reeds big play ability makes you wish fantasy football expanded to the college landscape. After all, he does have one of the longest MSU scoring plays in the last decade. His speed is a game changer and his hands are magnets. As a result, he is putting up numbers that make Spartan fans salivate. The junior already has the same amount of scores as he did in 2020 (3), and is averaging an outstanding 23 yards per reception.
In addition to taking a big leap in his individual game, Jayden has made an impact in every MSU victory this season. The win over Northwestern was Kenneth Walker lll’s coming-out party, but Reed led the team in receiving that game. Everyone probably knows he scored on the first play against Youngstown State. Most recently in the victory over Miami he caught a huge TD pass to put the Spartans up in the 4th quarter. Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson has done a nice job getting his squad down the field through three weeks. Jayden Reed has definitely helped out with that.
The Transfer Portal and Reuniting With an Old Friend
Central Michigan, Toledo, Western Michigan and Miami of Ohio. Those were the only schools that recruited Jayden Reed out of high school. He would end up going to Kalamazoo to become a Bronco and it didn’t take long for him to prove he could play on a bigger stage. As a freshman, the wideout was top ten in the MAC in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. During his time at Western Michigan, Reed found a role as a returner as well. In 12 games he caught 56 balls for 797 yards and 8 touchdowns, while averaging 18 yards per punt return. That was good enough to test the waters and enter the transfer portal.
However, before he moved on to play at the next level, Jayden played for Metea Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois. Who was the quarterback for the team? None other than current Michigan State quarterback, Payton Thorne.
Consequently, you can probably imagine that the two developed a bond that went beyond football. But that isn’t to take away from the chemistry they are showing on the field. The flea flicker they pulled off against Youngstown State is an example of that. Not only is the story behind the duo that is Thorne and Reed cool, but it is paying off for their current teams offense.
Going Right Through For MSU
Michigan States 3-0 start is in large part because of their offense. 35 plus points and nearly 500 yards from scrimmage in each game this season is nothing short of impressive. The Spartans have come a long way from when they turned the ball over seven times in Mel Tuckers debut. Now they seem to have a big three in Kenneth Walker lll, Payton Thorne, and Jayden Reed. Teams will eventually learn how to game plan against MSU’s fierce running back, but Jay Johnson uses his top receiver very creatively. Reed not only is exceeding through the air but rushing the ball as well. He has been involved in flea flickers, jet sweeps, and wide receiver screens. Don’t be surprised if at one point this season we see him line up in the wildcat formation.
With every game he plays, he makes Michigan State more and more happy they fished him out of the transfer portal. Every time he puts on a green and white uniform he is a threat to turn a big play, but most importantly, makes his father proud.
Follow Alex Mayer on Twitter: @almay_99