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30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #5 Josh Reed

Josh Reed, celebrating being #5 on the countdown
Josh Reed, celebrating being #5 on the countdown


When Josh Reed arrived on campus, he was a slightly undersized running back recruit who would do anything to just to see the field.  By the end of his junior year, he was the greatest wide receiver in LSU history which is no small feat.  Before we go through his history, just look at the records he left school with:

19 receptions vs. Alabama (LSU and SEC single-game record)

293 receiving yards vs. Alabama (LSU and SEC single-game record)

94 receptions (LSU single-season record)

1,740 receiving yards (LSU and SEC single-season record)

145.0 receiving yards per game (LSU and SEC single-season record)

3,001 receiving yards (LSU and SEC career record)

11 100-yard games (LSU single-season record)

18 100-yard games (LSU career record)

14 receptions vs. Illinois (LSU and Sugar Bowl record)

239 receiving yards vs. Illinois (LSU and Sugar Bowl record)

A few of those records have since been broken, but not many.  Reed jumped to the NFL after his junior year having completely rewritten the LSU record book.  And he is still the most prolific receiver in LSU history, which is stunning seeing as he was a receiver for only two years.

2000, his sophomore year, was Reed's first as a wide receiver.  He caught 65 balls for 1,127 yards and 10 TD's.  So I guess there wasn't much of an adjustment period.  He led the SEC with 102.5 yards per game receiving.  He could beat you short or he could beat you long, six of his 10 TD's were over 30 yards.  Reed also never lost his running back sensibilities and was a ferocious run blocker on top of being a great receiver.  He's also the receiver that made the phrase "bubble screen" make SEC defensive coordinators curl up in the fetal position. 

And that was nothing compared to 2001.  Josh Reed keyed an explosive offense that brought LSU its first SEC title since 1988 and our rightful place back in the Sugar Bowl.  He caught 94 passes (!) for 1,740 yards (first in the country).  He led the SEC in more than just receiving yards and catches, but he led the SEC in all-purpose yards with 155.0 per game (145.0 of that average was in receiving yards).  His signature game was when he almost single-handedly beat Alabama with NINETEEN catches and 293 yards.  The thing is, that game wasn't even an extreme outlier.  He went 14-239 against Illinois, 10-186 against Auburn, and 7-183 against Arkansas.  In all, he had 18 100-yard games over his career which is just silly.

Reed was the fastest receiver to reach 2,000 yards (20 games) and the first in SEC history to reach 3,000 yards.  Heck, he was only the third SEC receiver to have multiple 1,000 yard seasons.  He started 2000 with eight straight 100-yard games, a school record, which was snapped against Ole Miss when he merely had 85 yards receiving.  No one stopped Josh Reed in his junior year.  No one. 

After his remarkable Sugar Bowl game, he took his ball and went pro.  Reed left as a two-time All-SEC player and the 2001 Biletnikoff winner, LSU's first major award winner since Billy Cannon.  Josh Reed is the standard by which all LSU receivers will be forever judged.  He wasn't just dominant, he was absurdly dominant.