Ohio State Confirms Verlon Reed’s Exit
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Wide receiver Verlon Reed has left the Ohio State football program, an OSU spokesperson confirmed to The-Ozone on Monday.
Photo by Jim Davidson
It was initially reported in The Columbus Dispatch that Reed was planning to leave the Ohio State program after three years as a Buckeye in what is being called a “mutual parting.”
“No matter where I end up, nothing changes for me. I'm still grinding to reach my goal and I will always and forever be a #BUCKEYE,” Reed posted to his personal Twitter account on Monday morning.
A Columbus native and former City League superstar, Reed saw his playing time take a tremendous dip during Urban Meyer’s first season as the head football coach at Ohio State. The redshirt sophomore out of Marion-Franklin caught a 13-yard pass in the season-opener against Miami University and did not touch the football in a game the rest of the season.
The 6-1, 200-pound Reed was a kid who had to switch positions when he got to Ohio State. He had been a spread quarterback in high school, but emerged as “darkhorse” candidate for former OSU head coach Jim Tressel in the spring of 2011.
Reed would eventually earn a starting spot across from Corey “Philly” Brown in 2011 because of the NCAA-mandated suspension for senior DeVier Posey. That suspension would end up at 10 games, but Reed’s redshirt freshman season was cut short when he suffered a vicious knee injury against Michigan State in week five of the 2011 season.
It happened as Ohio State was furiously trying to rally from a 10-7 deficit, and Reed suffered a season-ending knee injury while attempting to recover an onside kick late in the game.
He finished the year with nine catches for 132 yards, but spent the offseason recovering from knee surgery and did not return to the practice field in a full capacity until fall camp. He told The-Ozone during preseason camp that he felt like the knee was about 90 percent of what it was before the injury, but he had already fallen behind younger guys like Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and even freshman Michael Thomas.
The Buckeyes lost another freshman receiver during the season when Ricquan Southward opted to leave the program so he could return home to Florida. They also lost Tyrone Williams, a classmate of Reed’s from the 2010 recruiting class who was dismissed from the program for violating team rules.
Reed’s exit leaves the Buckeyes with six scholarship receivers for next season. The top four guys will be Smith, Brown, Spencer and Thomas, with senior Chris Fields also in the mix.
Meyer does have a pair of offensive skill players coming in next year, with Jalin Marshall and Taivon Jacobs being committed to play for the Buckeyes in 2013. The OSU coaching staff is also targeting Shelton Gibson out of Cleveland and James Quick out of Louisville at the wide receiver position.
The Buckeyes are still awaiting decisions from cornerback Bradley Roby and running back Carlos Hyde, but Reed’s exit currently puts them at 61 scholarships for next year, assuming defensive back Jamie Wood has not taken a medical hardship waiver.
That would leave Meyer with 21 spots in the 2013 class, which is already at 19 after the commitments from Donovan Munger and Gareon Conley. It stands to reason, however, that Reed won’t be the last player to leave the team this offseason.
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