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Michigan State officially hires Effrem Reed as running backs coach

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Reed takes over for William Peagler, who left MSU to coach at Florida.

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

In an expected move, Mel Tucker has officially hired Effrem Reed as running backs coach for the Michigan State football program.

It was first reported in late December that Reed was Michigan State’s top target to fill the vacancy left by William Peagler, who held the running backs coach post at MSU in 2020 and 2021, but has since accepted a job coaching tight ends on Billy Napier’s first staff with the Florida Gators. Peagler’s final game with the Spartans was the Peach Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers, and Reed was reportedly already hard at work with MSU during the Peach Bowl as well.

Reed has already spent two seasons working under Tucker and Peagler at Michigan State as an offensive analyst, who also assisted Peagler with coaching the running backs, including Doak Walker Award winner and Walter Camp Player of the Year, Kenneth Walker III. However, after the regular season concluded, Reed accepted a position as running backs coach on Clay Helton’s staff at Georgia Southern, but now, just over one month later, he has returned to East Lansing.

“Coach Reed is an excellent role model for our players,” Tucker said in a tweet. “In addition he is a tireless worker with a relentless dedication to teach, motivate, and develop players. He will be a difference maker for us on the recruiting trail and I’m excited about his future.”

Prior to his time at Michigan State, Reed spent two seasons at Louisiana — ironically, working under Napier while there — as a defensive graduate assistant for the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2019 and the director of player engagement in 2018.

From 2012 through 2015, Reed was a four-year letterwinner as a running back for Louisiana, playing under current Michigan State offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, who held that same role with the Ragin’ Cajuns during that span. In 44 career games, Reed recorded 127 attempts for 617 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and six rushing touchdowns. He also added 24 receptions for 230 yards and two additional touchdowns. Reed’s most productive season came as a redshirt freshman in 2012, when he rushed for 414 yards and five touchdowns on 86 carries (4.8 yards per carry).

Reed — a Louisiana native — has strong recruiting ties to the Southeast, is considered “one of the brightest young coaches in the profession,” per Helton, and already has a relationship with the Michigan State football players and good familiarity with the MSU football program.