Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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San Francisco 49ers select former Falcon in 2018 NFL Draft

No. 7 D.J. Reed runs the ball down the field in a Cerritos College football game. Reed was drafted to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2018 NFL Draft. Photo credit: Courtesy of Daryl Peterson

The San Francisco 49ers announced the signing of former Falcons cornerback D.J. Reed to a four-year rookie scale contract on May 11.

He was drafted by the 49ers in the fifth round (No. 143 pick overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft, after declaring for the draft on December 31 of last year.

Reed previously played for the Cerritos College football team during the 2015-16 season.

He played in 11 games for the Falcons, throughout those games he recorded 42 tackles and two interceptions and three pass breakups.

Reed help guide the Falcons to a National Division Northern Conference Championship and a spot in the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

Reed’s journey to the NFL includes red shirting at Fresno State University, playing for Cerritos College for one year, after Reed’s stint with the Falcons, he then transferred to Kansas State University.

During a recent video with Uninterrupted, Reed said, “I’m still going to be doubted when I get to the league, it’s still going to be concerns and questions about my height, but I’m going to still keep proving myself…”

Reed’s mottos are “in due time” and “done waiting,” he uses those as hashtags describing his mentality that things will happen for him in due time and next to proclaim that he’s done waiting.

He said, “I always told myself just keep grinding and in due time everything will unfold, just keep working.”

He attended Independence High School, in Bakersfield.

Reed was the first athlete in his high school’s history to be named both MVP of the football and basketball team.

At Kansas State University Reed played two years, in his final year he played in all 11 games of the season.

He played the cornerback position and also return specialist. Reed accumulated stats of 47 tackles, 16 pass deflections and two forced fumbles in his last season.

The Wildcats finished with a 7-5 record I’m 2017.

He also returned nine kickoffs totaling 255 yards.

His total stats for both years are 122 tackles, seven interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, including 17 punt returns for an average of 14.9 yards (253 total) and 32 passes deflected.

In 2017, he was named Honorable Mention Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year.

After his performance in his last season with Kansas State, he was rewarded with the honor of being selected to the 2016 First team All Big 12 Conference team for punt return, kick return and cornerback.

He was also named second team All American for kick return, punt return and cornerback.

The 21-year-old rookie, will now inherently fall under the tutelage of 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.

Like Reed, Sherman was also drafted in the fifth round of the NFL Draft in 2011.

Sherman helped lead the team that drafted him, the Seattle Seahawks to a 2013 Super Bowl Championship win.

He was also named to a Pro Bowl team and All Pro four times, respectively and also lead the the league in interceptions in 2013.

The Compton product and Stanford University graduate was released by the Seahawks March 9, a team he helped lead to back to back Super Bowl berths.

The 49ers did not wait long to lock down the services of Sherman, signing him as a free agent to a three-year contract worth $39 million.

Sherman will serve as a model of success for Reed to learn from.

Reed will also join a quarterback in Jimmy Garopolo, who has yet to lose an NFL game as a starter (7-0).

Garopolo was acquired by the 49ers last season via the New England Patriots. He went 2-0 when starting with the Patriots and 5-0 as a starter with the 49ers after the trade.

The 49ers have their first preseason game on August 9 against the Dallas Cowboys at home.

Reed will play his first regular season game as a pro with the 49ers on Sept. 9 away versus the Minnesota Vikings.

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About the Contributor
Jah-Tosh Baruti, Staff Writer
Jah-Tosh Baruti is author of the sports column titled Shmackem. Previously he was sports editor for Talon Marks. Baruti also took home an award for his sports writing at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state conference in 2018.
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San Francisco 49ers select former Falcon in 2018 NFL Draft