Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed announced some good news for the Spartans on Tuesday, as he will be returning to East Lansing for his redshirt senior year in 2022.
Reed had an outstanding performance in the Peach Bowl victory over Pittsburgh, recording six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns — including a 22-yard score that gave the Spartans the lead with 2:51 to play in the game. Following that touchdown from Payton Thorne to Reed, and Thorne’s two-point conversion pass to Jalen Nailor, Michigan State took a 24-21 lead. Linebacker Cal Haladay then sealed the game with a 78-yard interception return for a touchdown, making the final score 31-21. After the game, Reed said he was still undecided about his future, but has now made his decision.
Overall on the 2021 season, Reed played in all 13 games and recorded 59 receptions for 1,026 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He is the first Spartan to reach 1,000 receiving yards since Aaron Burbridge in 2015.
Additionally, Reed had seven rushing attempts for 24 yards and a rushing touchdown. He was also a dynamic returner, as he returned 12 punts for 238 yards (19.8 yards per return) and was one of only four players in the FBS to have two punt return touchdowns on the season. Reed also returned 16 kickoffs for 376 yards (23.5 yards per return). Reed recorded 1,674 all-purpose yards (128.8 yards per game) and was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award (given out annually to the “most versatile player in major college football”).
In 2021, Reed — who transferred to Michigan State from Western Michigan in 2019 — earned first-team All-American honors by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as an all-purpose player, was named first-team All-Big Ten as an all-purpose player by the Associated Press, second-team All-Big Ten as a returner by both the conference’s coaches and media members, and third-team All-Big Ten as a wide receiver by both the coaches and media.
In two seasons at Michigan State, Reed has recorded 92 receptions for 1,433 yards (15.6 yard per catch) and 13 receiving touchdowns. During his freshman season at Western Michigan in 2018, Reed caught 56 passes for 797 yards and eight touchdowns, on his way to Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American honors.
Reed originally hails from Naperville, Illinois. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Reed and Thorne were high school teammates at Naperville Central.
Reed’s running mate at wide receiver, Jalen Nailor, declared for the NFL Draft on Monday. Offensive lineman Kevin Jarvis, running back Kenneth Walker III and tight end/H-back Connor Heyward, who will be playing in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, are the other Spartans with remaining eligibility who plan to enter the draft.