Greg Reid's dismissal from Florida State this morning is a huge blow. Not just from a talent perspective, as he will surely be missed from the Nation's top ranked defense, but the atmosphere in Doak Campbell Stadium will now be drastically different.
The Senior cornerback is decent for his height (7 career interceptions, 120 tackles, 5' 8"), but he excels as a punt returner. By 2010 and 2011 teams had learned to fear Reid, but every once in a while he'd have his chance. He returned 37 punts for 416 yards last year - fourth most in football, 30 yards shy of the leader. His explosive style was unleashed his freshman year when he returned 21 punts for 387 yards, until they stopped kicking it to him. He was averaging 18.5 per opportunity, humiliating for offenses.
Reid would stand in the end zone for kickoffs as well, but no one wanted to give him the ball, prompting boos from the stands every time - which was somewhat unfair to Lamarcus Joyner, who averaged over 30 yards per kickoff return. Combined, Reid had 563 return yards, which moved him into second place in school history with 89 career returns and 1,117 return yards.
Now: Gone are the days when the stadium would come to life, one hand into the air, fingers spread for Number 5.
Jimbo Fisher and his staff may take heat for his dismissal, but Reid has been subject to discipline many times on and off the field - and who knows how often in the locker room. Reid famously removed his helmet and entered a fight from the sidelines against Florida and had no fear of discipline. Tomahawk Nation wrote after his most recent arrest that there were likely no "courtesy fouls" left for Reid, and that his dismissal could be imminent. Laying down the law was the right choice, and it's unfortunate it had to be a fan favorite.
His unabashed personality was a rally point on special teams, and his tendency to become a "game changer" was a constant threat. He will be missed. Now the Seminoles will move forward, likely slotting sophomore WR Rashad Greene into his pivotal role of punt returner. If Florida State's defense proves to be among the best in football yet again, there will be plenty of punt return opportunities next season.
For more on how the Seminoles might replace Reid - and to read about FSU's crazy depth at the cornerback position - visit our Seminole affiliate Tomahawk Nation.
Just to reminisce, here are a couple of my favorite moments in Greg Reid's career as a Seminole:
5. Greg Reid taking it to the Goal Line in the Gator Bowl
Greg Reid "G5" Almost Housing One (via toomuchtoomuch)
4. Taking Marcus Lattimore from Latitude to Longitude
Marcus Lattimore gets ROCKED. (via ClemSonBoy1981)
3. The 83 Yard Punt Return TD off the Bounce (Miami)
Greg Reid G5 on the runway (via themoneysweater)
2. Greg Reid as Ninja vs UF
Greg Reid is a Ninja (via lukasburchett)
1. Introducing: Russell Wilson, meet Freshman Greg Reid
Russell Wilson meet Greg Reid! (via stonevilleicetea)