Florida State cornerback Greg Reid announced on his Facebook page Friday that he will not declare for the NFL Draft and plans to return to the Seminoles in 2012.
The 5-8, 186-pound Reid had an up-and-down junior campaign for FSU that ended prematurely in the Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame, when he left the game with concussion-like symptoms after getting tangled up with receiver Michael Floyd on a touchdown catch in the end zone. The Valdosta, Georgia, native was credited with 32 tackles and two interceptions in 2011, plus he averaged 11.2 yards on 37 punt returns and scored one TD.
Reid started the season on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's top defensive back, thanks in large part to a dominating performance the previous New Year's Eve in a win over South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. But he and a fellow Lowndes High School graduate, sophomore linebacker Telvin Smith, were suspended for the Sept. 10 game vs. Charleston Southern for a violation of team rules, and then he was arrested a few weeks later on charges of perjury not in an official proceeding and resisting an officer without violence -- they were dropped and no further discipline was deemed necessary by coach Jimbo Fisher. He also sprained a knee Sept. 17 against Oklahoma and was therefore unable to play Sept. 24 in a crushing loss at Clemson.
Always having a flair for the dramatic, Reid saved his best moments of the season for the 'Noles in their two rivalry games, as his punt-return score came Nov. 12 against Miami and both of his INTs were recorded Nov. 26 at Florida. Nevertheless, his play was erratic at best more often than not, so it made little sense to head to the pros now with his most recent film not proving to be overly kind.
His premature departure would have left a big hole for Florida State at corner, even if draft-eligible sophomore Xavier Rhodes comes back, as senior Mike Harris is done with college and none of the backups on the roster have much experience.
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"Due to his lack of prototypical size, Reid's future in the NFL will be spent inside at nickel or dime corner," said Rob Rang, senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com. "While he isn't a true blazer, Reid possesses very good foot quickness, flexibility and balance, which makes him an effective cover corner and returner. He is also an extremely competitive player who plays with a chip on his shoulder when lining up opposite bigger receivers. He's a legitimate NFL-caliber athlete with a history of playing well in big games, but due to his size and speed limitations, he is likely to be considered only a third-day (Rounds 4-7) prospect."
It has been a good week for the Seminoles, as defensive end Brandon Jenkins, who, unlike Reid, is indeed a threat to be selected in the first or second round of the draft, made up his mind Thursday to stay in Tallahassee for his senior year.
John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.