All eyes are on Auburn’s quarterbacks and the much-maligned defense during spring practice. But even if either Kiehl Frazier or Jonathan Wallace emerge as the starting candidate this spring, they have few proven pass catchers to throw to.
One receiver who’s continually trying to live up to his enormous high school expectations and become a breakout player is former No. 1 overall Louisiana blue chip Trovon Reed.
The parallels between Trovon Reed and former LSU all-purpose player Russell Shepard are eerily similar. Reed, like Shepard, was a former high school quarterback turned wide receiver in college. Both were equally as coveted and chose out-of-state teams for their college careers. But Shepard never did fully live up to his potential, despite several sparks shown in four years, and Reed has two more seasons to do what Shepard could not.
Reed has combined for just 370 yards of all-purpose yards in two full seasons, and he’s caught just 30 passes, thanks in part to a broken foot in 2010, a shoulder injury in 2011 and one of the worst passing offenses in college football in 2012.
2011 was Reed’s best season as a Tiger. He caught 21 passes for 164 yards under then offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. He found a home at slot receiver before injuring his shoulder, and he hopes Malzahn’s return means big things for him as a player, via AL.com.
“Coach Malzahn is one of the main reasons why I’m here at Auburn, so him being back is great for me,” Reed said. “I know he’s going to coach me, he’s going to get the very best out of me, on and off the field.”
Reed can be elusive and a burner in the open field, but he has to be used correctly in the right offense in order to make him effective. Malzhan’s hurry-up and spread-‘em-out offense could provide the edge and platform that Reed has been looking for.
Reed’s spring is very important to Auburn. Reed, along with Sammie Coates, Quan Bray, Ricardo Louis, Jaylon Denson and TE CJ Uzomah, must continue to develop in a thin receiving corps. Combined, the six return just 40 catches for 514 yards and four receiving touchdowns from an underachieving 2012 season.
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