Tough. Physical. Athletic.
Some of the many words that Army running backs coach Darren Paige described sophomore Hayden Reed.
Reed, who started two games at fullback in Army’s flexbone offense his first college season, hasn’t missed a beat in the Black Knights’ shotgun scheme. He played in a spread offense at Gaither (Tampa, Fla.) High School.
“Hayden Reed is my opinion is a Swiss Army knife,” said Paige in his first season at Army. “He can do a little bit of everything and he can do it at a very high level.”
That statement couldn’t be more true in Army’s final preseason scrimmage Saturday. Reed rushed downfield to cover a kickoff and forced a fumble as his shoulder dislodged the ball with a textbook technique.
Whether it’s running the ball, catching a pass out of the backfield or contributing on special teams, Reed is being counted on to make an impact with the season opener at Louisiana-Monroe one week away. And, Reed is going to bring it. Would-be tacklers better strap up their helmet tightly when trying to slow down the 215-pound Reed.
“Physicality is definitely going to be a big role in this offense,” Reed said.
Army will likely shuffling running backs into action with junior Miles Stewart as the likely starter followed by Reed. He rushed for a career-high 87 yards against Louisiana-Monroe in his second start last season. Reed averaged 5.1 yards per carry in his first year and that number could increase in Army’s new offense.
“It’s definitely going to be fun (playing in the offense) and hard for another team to prepare for,” Reed said.