Everybody Deserves a Second Chance: The Bobby Reid Story

Joe WillettSenior Writer IMay 10, 2008

Bobby Reid was a high school hero at Galena Park North Shore High School.  He was a duel threat with unlimited potential.

In high school Reid was named the Houston Touchdown Club’s Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named to the all-Greater Houston team and the all-district team. To top off his accolades, he was named the district's Most Valuable Player. 

It's a nice little resume that got him a full ride at Oklahoma State.

Reid started as a redshirt freshman in 2005 and played well until he was injured five games into the season and didn't play again that year.

During the off-season, Oklahoma State brought in quarterback Zac Robinson. Reid was still confident that he was the leader of this team and that it was going to stay that way until he left.

His sophomore season was off with a bang and he played very well and definitely warranted the full ride that OSU had given him. 

At his high point he threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns while adding yet another rushing TD against Kansas.  However, a week later against Texas A&M, Reid suffered a mild concussion.  Seems normal, but there were rumblings that it was only a nick and that Reid was being soft.

Because of the concussion, Robinson was given the reigns and threw 3 touchdowns and took the game into overtime.  This event was the beginning of the end for Bobby Reid at Oklahoma State.

Rumors suggested that Head Coach Mike Gundy didn't trust Reid, that he didn't think Reid had what it took to be a starter.

Then came the moment that everybody knew that Reid just wasn't in the plans for Gundy's spread offense.

Against rival Oklahoma, Gundy drew up a plan to keep OU on their heels the whole game, he threw in combinations of Reid and Robinson.  Reid had to take a pain shot before the game because of a hurt shoulder, but continued to play, showing that he was indeed the tough man that people were doubting.

With about 6 minutes left in the game, Reid threw a touchdown to make the game 27-21 OU leading.  Then, with just 2 minutes left in the game, Gundy put in Robinson instead of Reid, an act that showed the world that he trusted Robinson more in pressure situations than Reid.

"I was sitting there like, 'Coach, can I go in? Let me go in, Coach,' '' Reid says. "And he really didn't say nothing. I just blacked out and lost it. I was cursing and just going off."

Gundy, however, still told everybody that Reid was the unquestioned starter of the team, although not everybody bought what he was trying to sell.

Reid led OSU to a 34-31 victory against Alabama, but even with the bowl victory and a good offensive performance, Gundy called Reid's performance "spotty."

The off-season went by and Reid was still the starter heading into the season, but he wasn't exactly unquestioned by everybody.

In the second week of the season, Reid received a minor injury.  Robinson came back in and threw for 3 touchdowns and that was the end of Reid's starter duties.

During the week, Gundy called in Reid and asked him about his health. Reid said he was fine to play and Gundy told him that he had been moved to the back-up behind Robinson.

Reid was astonished, especially after the successful 2006 season.  He threw 24 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. He added 500 rushing yards and ranked 16th in the national QB rating. He was even a semi-finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award.

Despite his previous season's achievements, he was benched after just two games.

Gundy's decision didn't exactly give him the results he was looking for, as OSU was beaten 41-23 the next week against Troy.

Writer Jenni Carlson wrote about how Reid wasn't strong enough, and that he was being coddled by his mother. 

The article enraged Gundy.

The coach refuted the article in a memorable tirade.  Everybody thought that Gundy was a great coach and was defending his player.

Reid, the very man he was trying to defend, knew the truth.

"Honestly, the way I took it, I felt like it was all a front," Reid says. "That it was all a big show. It didn't feel genuine."

Reid spiraled into depression.

"He'd tell me, 'Bro', I cry myself to sleep almost every night,' " says fullback Jack Johnson.

It didn't help that after the Troy game, Robinson was playing like a man possessed, throwing for 23 touchdowns and rushing for 847 yards.

It also seemed that Gundy was toying with Reid.  In a game that Robinson suffered a minor injury and didn't finish the game, Reid came in and went 6-9 with 72 yards.  A good job, but he was put back on the bench the next week.

The ultimate humiliation was against Nebraska. With 35 seconds to go and the game well in hand, Reid was sent in to knee the ball, and only to knee the ball.  OSU fans, that's right, fans of the very team Reid was playing for, mocked him, yelling, "Hey Bobby Reid, we don't need you now! Game over!" 

He knew he would never play at Oklahoma State again.

He planned to sign up for the 2008 Draft, but received a call from Texas Southern Head Coach Johnnie Cole asking him to come play football for them.  They were 0-11 and Reid had nowhere to go.

Reid loved the idea and decided to transfer to Texas Southern for his final year of eligibility, and Cole loves the idea.

"I've coached a lot of 'em, including Tarvaris Jackson, and Reid's special," Cole says. "I think he's going to be a first-day guy in the 2009 draft. If he'd left this year, he'd have been just a guy, so I think his decision to come back made him a couple million. He's got his swagger back. You should see that arm. The players are already following him."

The man that built himself in southern Texas finds himself just there.  He was the next Vince Young, now we'll finally get to see if he can live up to the hype.

There will be no quarterback controversy here, and I pray that Reid gets back to the form that made him one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. 

"You can try to knock me down, but I'm standing on my feet strong."

I'm Joe W. 

Quotes and information was taken from ESPN.com.


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