A stunning development revealed itself at the beginning of the month for the Florida State Seminoles, with three-year starter at cornerback and one of the team’s top performers on special teams, Greg Reid, dismissed from the team for a violation fo team rules.
Reid’s dismissal came just weeks after his most recent off-field incident, an arrest in mid-July in which the Valdosta, Georgia native was found to be driving with a suspended license, cited for a seatbelt violation and, perhaps most damning, in misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Police reports linked to the arrest show Reid’s license has been suspended because of four unpaid traffic fines, a circumstance the defensive back told police he believed he had taken care of in the past.
Reid also denied knowing that he was carrying marijuana inside his vehicle, though Georgia State Police officer J.W. Kinsey noted that not only did he detect “a strong odor of air freshenr mixed with a burnt marijuana smell,” but also found loose cigar tobacco, a clear zip-lock bag and a partially smoked cigar containing a small amount of a substance field tests determined to be the illegal substance.
Reid also apparently asked to be taken into the Lowndes County Jail through an alternate entrance so as not to be seen, and, once inside, asked to be released with just a ticket – both requests which were substantively denied.
Given that Reid was entering his senior year after a junior season in which he notched 32 tackles and two interceptions, as well as adding 563 yards as a return specialist, many within and outside the Seminoles football program were surprised by head coach Jimbo Fisher’s decision to exile the talented defensive back – especially given that Fisher, according to ESPN.com‘s David Hale, is not required to issue a suspension unless felony charges are brought against one of his players.
Players such as defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel also maintained Reid was, as writes Heather Dinich of ESPN.com, “a changed man” – statements building upon statements made by Reid himself back in spring that he was “motivated” and regarded his “last time around here at Florida State” as a major responsibility.
Fisher, however, noted that he and veteran players had met and were clear and united in their goal of achieving a conference championship this season, and, according to Dinich, refuse “to be derailed by off-field distractions.”
“Again, I love Greg to death,” Fisher told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s just a situation where … rules are rules and what we have to go by. It had to be done.”
Replacing Reid in Florida State’s secondary won’t be an easy task, with Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops telling the Sentinel during last weekend’s Media Day the competition to fill Reid’s spot on the roster is “wide open.”
Sophomore Nick Waisome, Reid’s backup last season, seems the most likely candidate to earn the nod. Still, freshmen Ronald Darby, P.J. Williams and Colin Blake could all figure into the equation as well – especially Darby, who Stoops says is “impressive,” “physically gifted” and possesses “good instincts and understands the game.”
As for what the future hold for Reid? Speculation that he might make a return to his hometown appears to have become reality, with Dinich reporting seperately that the standout cover corner is currently in the process of enrolling at Valdosta State – less than two weeks after his dismissal from Florida State.
The Sentinel offered further evidence of Reid’s decision to attend VSU, noting Reid tweeted a picture of himself in a Valdosta State football T-shirt on Monday, accompanied by the message, “Always love my NOLES tho.”
The move to attend a Division II program is a logical one, as Reid would be able to transfer without the penalty of sitting out a season normally associated with making the move to another Football Bowl Subdivision school.