Reports came out early Wednesday morning that got the Florida State world up in a tizzy. Greg Reid, a returning starter for the Seminoles' defensive backfield, has been dismissed from the team. Not much in the way of details have emerged as the story continues to develop.
The official statement from Florida State: "Florida State Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher announced Wednesday that Greg Reid has been dismissed from the FSU football team for a violation of team rules."
As always, we wish Reid the best. The young man is a senior and will have to likely use this next year, on a smaller stage, to prove he can be a sound defensive back at the next level. Tough to see a kid get almost all the way through and have one final mistake cost him.
Certainly Reid has been no choir boy. He was suspended for a violation of team rules for the Charleston Southern game a season ago. He was also arrested for perjury and resisting arrest—those charges were dropped. Then, more recently, Reid was popped for driving with a suspended license, marijuana possession and a seat belt violation.
It would seem this most recent violation was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.
On the field, the Seminoles lose a starter on defense and a dynamic return man. Defensively, the Seminoles and Mark Stoops will get over the departure relatively quickly. Reid was a quality corner who was slowly growing into his own at the position, albeit he was clearly the second-best corner, when compared to Xavier Rhodes.
With Reid gone, Nick Waisome, Ronald Darby and Tyler Hunter will be fighting for more playing time as the spot is opened. Keelin Smith, the 6'3", 187-pound redshirt freshman, is another name that Seminole fans should know. He competed hard in the spring as Rhodes sat out due to injury, so we'll see if Stoops moves Smith over to play opposite Rhodes.
On defense, the Seminoles have the talent to replace Reid. However, in the return game things will likely be harried until they can find an answer. Reid was the only player to return punts for the Seminoles with any regularity. Of the 96 punts Florida State has received in the last three seasons, Reid returned 91 of them—a whopping 95 percent.
Replacing that consistency and an 11.24 yards-per-return average in 2011 is no small task. First and foremost, Jimbo Fisher and staff have to find a reliable athlete to field the ball. Uncertainty in the return game yields turnovers.
Knowing when to fair catch, when to let it drop and when to get what you can is the difference between your offense starting inside the five, a muff and solid field position.
Losing Reid hurts the special teams the most, and as the Seminoles start training camp on August 6th, the special teams periods will be critical to finding that reliable option at punt returner.