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Gator legend arrested



John_reaves_touch_up_2The Times' Thomas Kaplan is reporting today that John Reaves, a former University of Florida star quarterback who graduated as the all-time passing leader in NCAA history, has been arrested on a cocaine possession charge. Details of his arrest were not immediately available, but jail records show the 58-year-old was taken into custody by the Tampa Police Department on Wednesday night.

Reaves, a former first-round NFL draft pick who went to Robinson High School and was an All-American at UF from 1969 to 1971, has battled drug problems in the past. By the time he was in the NFL, his life, he once recalled to Sports Illustrated, "was literally saturated with drugs and alcohol."

But the former standout would turn his life around, getting treatment and counseling and embracing religion.  He found life beyond football, too, building a successful real estate business in Tampa.

Jreaves_2Reaves, a former Florida high school player of the year, was a first-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1972.  But while he would play professionally for more than a decade, including a three-year stint in the United States Football League with the Tampa Bay Bandits, Reaves would never achieve the stardom he gained in high school and college play.

Reaves coached under Steve Spurrier at UF in the 1990s and also worked at South Carolina and Cornell.  His son David is now the quarterbacks coach under Spurrier at South Carolina, and his daughter Layla is the wife of Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:31pm]


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