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Reed receives Jet Award

A University of Virginia press release highlighted the Wednesday, Jan. 8, announcement that Cavaliers wide receiver and kick returner Joe Reed, a former Randolph-Henry High School standout, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Jet Award presented to the nation’s top return specialist.

Officials in the release noted that the award, which originated in 2011, is named in honor of 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers. A 2000 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Rodgers was recently named the first-team all-purpose player on ESPN’s All-Time All-America Team for College Football’s 150th Anniversary.

This season Reed led all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players with a kick return average of 33.2 yards per runback that included two returns for touchdowns, the release stated.

Reed finished his Virginia career as the program’s all-time leader in kick return yards, with 3,042, kickoff returns, with 106, kick returns for touchdowns, with five, and longest return — 100 yards, tied for first, the release cited. He is the only player in FBS history with 3,000- plus career kick return yards and a career return average of 28-plus yards. He is tied for ninth on the NCAA all-time list with five kickoff returns for scores and his total return yards — 3,042 — also ranks ninth all-time.

The release continued by noting that Reed also distinguished himself as a top wide receiver while at Virginia. In his 50- game career he caught 129 passes for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a senior in 2019, he had his most productive year as a receiver, catching a team-high 77 passes for 679 yards and seven scores.

Among Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) players, Reed ranks second in conference history in kick return yards, with 3,042, and is third in kickoff return average, with a 28.7 mark, the release highlighted. Reed ranks fifth all-time at U.Va. with 4,679 all-purpose yards.

Officials said in the release that Reed will receive the award March 25 at the Jet Award Gala in Omaha, Nebraska. The award banquet benefits the Jet Award Foundation and Trust, raising money for scholarships for underprivileged high school graduates to attend Omaha’s Metropolitan Community College to pursue associates degrees.

Previous winners of the Jet Award include Arkansas’ Joe Adams (2011), West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (2012), Stanford’s Ty Montgomery (2013), Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett (2014), Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey (2015), USC’s Adoreé Jackson (2016), Washington’s Dante Pettis (2017) and Utah State’s Savon Scarver (2018), the release cited. The first seven players to win the award were all selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft. Scarver won the award as a sophomore at Utah State.

The release stated that Reed, a finalist for the Paul Horning Award presented to the nation’s top all-purpose player, was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America’s, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Athlon Sports and Bleacher Report. He was a second-team pick by The Sporting News, CBS Sports, SI.com and USA Today.

Reed earned first-team All-ACC honors as an all-purpose player and kick return specialist, the release noted in conclusion. He also was named the Touchdown Club of Richmond’s Specialist of the Year.