By: Sammy Clough, Sports Editor
As an All Southern Conference athlete in both football and track and field, Jaylan Reid has truly made his mark on Furman athletics.
Reid, a redshirt-senior from Marietta, Ga., didn’t start his football career at Furman quite like he expected. Following training camp in his first year, Reid was given a redshirt making him ineligible to play.
“I was disappointed,” remembers Reid, “But I honestly don’t think I would have made it through my freshman year if I had played.”
While redshirting, Reid took the time to get acclimated to the challenges of college while developing himself as a player.
He finally got the chance to play as a redshirt-freshman in 2015 and Reid, a 5 feet 11 inches nose guard, seized the opportunity. Despite shared playing time with veterans on the team, Reid received All-Freshman SoCon honors following his first season in purple.
A two time shot put state champion in high school, Reid sought out Furman’s track and field program hoping to contribute during football’s offseason. Even though there were no throwers on the team, Reid joined the program and finished second in the conference finals for shot put.
With one full football season under his belt, Reid began his redshirt-sophomore campaign in 2016 in a much anticipated season opener against highly ranked Michigan State. Despite a 28-13 loss to the Spartans, Reid recorded a sack in one of the Paladins’ most thrilling games of the season.
Prior to the 2017 season, Reid was named one of the team’s defensive captains. In Clay Hendrix’s first season as head coach at Furman, the Paladins finished 6-2 in the SoCon, their best in years.
“We believed in ourselves,” said Reid about the season, “That belief caught on like wildfire.”
Jaylan Reid’s unadulterated love for the game of football is what keeps him leading this Paladin team. He views himself as the team grandpa, and being a redshirt-senior and two year captain, is one of the most veteran voices in the locker room.
Reid has a deep love for his teammates and truly views Furman as a family. He believes the Furman family can come together through athletics and challenges students to “fight for one unit.”
Now in his final year in purple, Jaylan Reid will look to continue to inspire the Paladins as they close out this 2018 season.