It has been a few years since the Florida Gators had a dominant presence at the defensive tackle position. The problem has not necessarily been recruiting, as the Gators have signed quite a few 4- and 5-star recruits; no, the problem has been two things: keeping them healthy and keeping them on campus.
Since 2005, defensive tackles Corey Hobbs (quit football due to injury), Torrey Davis (transfer) John Brown (transfer – academics), Gary Brown (transfer – dismissed), and Edwin Herbert (quit football) have all left the University of Florida before their four-five year stay was up.
The Gators, light at the position, have received signed Letters of Intent for four defensive tackles for the class of 2013. The Gators are expecting major contributions from each of these players, and the one with the highest expectations, is likely Jarran Reed.
The Gators snagged the commitment of the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Reed on National Signing Day after he chose Florida over Alabama. (Reed had previously been committed to both Ole Miss and the University of North Carolina previously.)
Reed, however, is not your typical freshman defensive tackle. Reed comes to the Gators via East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) in Scooba, MS. EMCC may be familiar to Gator fans as senior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs attended there, and incoming junior Darious Cummings, also attended.
Will Muschamp has called the SEC, a ‘line of scrimmage league’. How does Reed fit into Will Muschamp’s view of the SEC?
Jarran Reed has prototypical size and likely will be able to bulk up and add at least 10-15 pounds of muscle under the tutelage of Strength and Conditioning coach Jeff Dillman. For comparison, Reed added 15 pounds during his two years at EMCC. Reed will be a big space eater up the middle, which is exactly what the Gators need, with exceptional pass rushers coming off the ends.
Looking at video, Reed is quick off the line and maintains good pad level. Reed’s first two steps are very quick, although his overall quickness slows a bit after that. With that, it looks like Reed will be better in rushing support and bull rushing. I am not sure Reed has the speed to get to the quarterback often. If you couple, his initial burst with his hand placement and swim/rip moves; you have a very good run stopper.
Reed has good strength, especially lower body, and maintains good balance. He seems to drive through the offensive linemen and is often in control. Although the competition is not great, Reed consistently overpowered them, which is what you are looking for out of the Junior College ranks. Any player making the transition from JUCO to FBS needs to consistently show that he is leaps and bounds better than his competition, which Reed does.
Reed will be a very solid contributor for the Gators and will be called upon this year to make an impact. With only three years to contribute to the Gators, Reed will need to quickly learn the playbook and absorb as much information from Defensive Line Coach Brad Lawing as he can. Reed has the ability to become a draft pick and an every game starter.