Reed seeks big play as a Trojan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2000

Sports Editor

As a freshman, Rayshun Reed didn’t return a punt for Troy State last season.

Now that’s his job on special teams he wants to run with it.

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On kickoff returns, junior Demontray Carter and senior Jonathan Carter have stepped in the for the departed Mareno Philyaw and haven’t missed a beat. Demontray Carter has returned four kickoffs this season for a total of 159 yards, including last week’s 86-yard touchdown against Alabama State. Jonathan Carter is averaging 27 yards a return.

Reed wants to bring that sort of quick-strike excitement to the Trojans’ punt return unit.

"I want to score touchdowns," Reed said. "We are getting better each week, so hopefully I can help the team with some solid punt returns. Last year we weren’t that good at returning punts."

Reed speaks

the truth. Punt return was an

area of concern for TSU Head Coach Larry Blakeney going into the 2000 season. The Trojans were last in the Southland Football League last year, averaging a paltry 4.9 yards a game. Throughout the 1999 season five different Trojans returned punts, with none able to consistently gain good ground.

This year Blakeney saw something in Reed and granted the job to the 5-10, 184 pound sophomore from Phenix City.

And although Reed was an All-State performer at wide receiver and defensive back coming out of Russell County High School, returning punts was something that was basically unfamiliar to him.

"It was new to me at first," Reed said. "We had a good punt returner in high school, so I maybe returned just two or three balls in my entire career."

Reed’s numbers haven’t been spectacular, but they are better then the Trojans had last year. On just 12 returns this season he’s averaging 8.8 yards and more importantly he hasn’t made any costly mistakes, such as a fumbles.

Overall, Blakeney’s been pleased at having Reed as his punt returner.

"Rayshun’s been returning punts very well and he’s getting better," he said.