Grad assistant Reed leaves Bulls to play in UFL
J.R. Reed, the former USF and NFL safety who returned to the Bulls last fall as a graduate assistant, has decided to leave Skip Holtz's staff to resume playing football with the United Football League's Florida Tuskers in Orlando.
"It's a great opportunity for me to play for Jay Gruden and Chuck Bresnahan," Reed said Monday. "One thing Coach (Jim) Leavitt had said was to play as long as you can, because you can coach forever, but you can only play so long. I love coaching, and that's still the final game plan for me."
The Tuskers, who also signed former USF quarterback Matt Grothe on Friday, open an eight-game season in September, and for Reed, it's a chance to return to pro football after nearly two years away. Reed played five seasons in the NFL, recovering from a serious leg injury that kept him from playing in 2005. He last played with the Eagles in 2008, and has 63 tackles in his NFL career.
Reed, 28, had worked alongside defensive coordinator Joe Tresey in coaching the Bulls defensive backs last season, and worked in the same capacity with secondary coach Rick Smith this spring after Holtz took over the program after Jim Leavitt's firing.
Reed's departure gives Holtz an opening on his defensive staff. Offensive graduate assistant Steve Bird is back for a second season after handling USF's tight ends last season and is now working with the running backs with offensive coordinator Todd Fitch.