Chris Reed: A Maverick Gone NFL

Joining Dolphins for 2019 Season

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Students at Minnesota State University, Mankato may have been tuned into an NFL game over the last few years and heard the name of one of their own. Chris Reed is one of two former Maverick football players now in the NFL.

CHRIS REED, Former MSU Football Player and Track & Field Athlete

This offseason, Reed signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins after spending the first four years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Football may have led Reed to a professional career, however, in Track and Field, Reed was a record breaking athlete. Some of his achievements include being an 11-time NCAA DII Track & Field All-American and NCAA DII champion in outdoor shot put (2014 and 2013).
    • 65′ 4 ¾” – 1st place in shot put at 2014 NCAA DII OTF Championship
    • 65’-7” – 1st place in shot put at 2013 NCAA DII OTF Championship
   • Holds Minnesota State Mankato record in indoor shot put (65′-10.5″) & outdoor shot put (65′-7″)
   • Holds Minnesota State Mankato record in indoor weight throw (67′-7.5) and outdoor hammer throw (215′-11″)

Reed’s journey to the NFL wasn’t an easy one. After starring in both football and track & field at Central High School in Omaha, the Nebraska native took his talents in both sports to MSU.

Chris Reed showcasing his athleticism on the football field and the shot-put for Track & Field.

On the football field, during his senior season, Reed was a part of an offensive line in 2014 that helped rewrite offensive record books as the Mavericks finished the season 14-1 with a Division II National Championship Game appearance.

Reed was Selected as a First Team All-American, NSIC South Division All-Conference First Team Offense and the Don Hansen All-Super Region Second Team Offense.

Chris took the time to answer a few questions. Let’s dive in.

Q: What are some of your greatest memories from your time at MSU?

A: The whole college experience was awesome! I met my wife at MSU and got to participate in my two favorite sports. Some of my favorite memories were hanging out with my friends in the old Gage Towers, relaxing after a hard practice in the locker room with my teammates, Track & Field trips to California, and of course game days and track meets.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced being a two-sport athlete in college? Would you have any advice for athletes seeking to play multiple sports in college?

A: Taking care of my body and time management were the two biggest challenges. You don’t have a lot of down time between sports. If you want to do two sports work on your time management, keeping on top of schoolwork, stretching, eating right, and allowing some time for yourself are all important. Also having goals for each sport is important to keep you on track.

Q: What did your time at MSU do to help you prepare for becoming a player in the NFL?

A: It gave me the tools I need to make it to the next level. The coaches helped me learn the game and how to play it with grit. The Sport Psychology program really helped me develop a positive mindset. Tom Inkrott and the weight room staff were always there to push my teammates and I to be stronger and faster than the competition. 

Q: How were you able to get into the NFL? What did that process of going from college football to the NFL look like for you?

A: Initially I just wanted to play football. Around my sophomore year I was told that I had some potential to play in the NFL, and it then became a goal. Scouts came from a lot of different teams my junior and senior years. After the December 2014 season I signed an agent and started the process. I wasn’t invited to the Combine and had to train for a Pro Day up in Minneapolis. I spent two months driving to Minneapolis four days a week to work out at Game Face Elite Training and work with Bill Welle both of which helped me immensely for the Pro Day. After the Pro Day, I had some teams call and just talk to me to find out more about me as a person. I watched the draft with my now wife and parents in our Quads apartment. I got a couple calls during the draft, but didn’t end up getting drafted so after it was done, I received a call from Jacksonville and signed with them.

Chris Reed and Adam Thielen gathering for an interview with a local (Mankato) news reporter after a joint practice between the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.

Q: Both you and Adam Thielen made it to the NFL from MSU. What do you remember about being teammates with Thielen during your time as Maverick football players? 

 A: I remember how great of a person and leader he was for our team. It seemed like he caught everything that was thrown to him. It was fun to watch. One of my favorite memories of him playing was when he returned an onside kick back for a touchdown. Adam has worked so hard and his success is well-deserved.

Thank you to Chris for taking the time to answer these questions. Hopefully this brings some intriguing insight into a Maverick that has gone onto play their sport professionally.

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