Reed’s Drop Cut Deep
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With Ohio State trailing Miami 14-0 in the first quarter of Saturday’s game at Sun Life Stadium, Joe Bauserman rolled to his right and threw a strike to receiver Verlon Reed.
Photo by Jim Davidson
It was the kind of play the redshirt freshman made routinely during fall camp, but suddenly his hands were made of stone.
Or maybe they weren’t.
According to informed sources close to the program the Marion Franklin product suffered a cut on his hand in practice during the week leading up to the Miami game that required eight stitches. That leads to speculation that Reed’s drop may have been the result of an injured hand, but Reed himself and the OSU coaching staff were not openly blaming the injury.
“He made no excuse for it. … He saw the ball coming and he did not make the play,” Ohio State receivers coach Stan Drayton said.
“Verlon is a guy who has great hands, and at that moment he didn’t get it done.”
It was a big moment for Reed, and for the Buckeyes, who desperately needed to get some offensive momentum going. Instead what would have been a 20-yard gain turned into another incomplete pass—something that would become the theme of the night for the Buckeyes.
“We dropped a couple balls which obviously doesn't get that rolling for you,” Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell said.
After coming to the Buckeyes as a quarterback, Reed made the switch to wide receiver last fall. He redshirted during his first year in Columbus, but quickly ascended the depth chart this off-season.
He started the season-opener in place of suspended senior DeVier Posey, and racked up five catches for 89 yards in the first two games against Akron and Toledo.
Although the injury was serious enough to require stitches, it did not keep Reed from playing against Miami. Maybe it would have if the Buckeyes weren’t so thin at the receiver position already. Along Posey, Ohio State was also without sophomore Corey “Philly” Brown, who missed the game with an ankle injury.
Brown is not expected to play Saturday against Colorado, but Reed is doing well—both physically and mentally—according to Drayton.
“I like the way he has prepared this week,” the first-year assistant said after practice Wednesday.
“You look at a person like Verlon who ached so much after that game. That particular play, he doesn’t rest easy. Now you watch his actions after the fact. Is he moping, or does he try to make sure that never happens again?
“What I’m seeing is he’s working his tail off. He’s trying to catch everything that’s coming his way.”
That should be a lot easier with two good hands.
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