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Reed reels in national recognition

USF senior free safety J.R. Reed reaped additional benefits from his outstanding performance in the Bulls’ 21-16 victory Saturday against Memphis in the 2003 regular-season finale. The school’s all-time interceptions leader was named national player of the week by two different publications, as well as the Conference USA defensive player of the week.

Reed intercepted three passes, returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown and returned the opening kick of the second half 96 yards for a touchdown. Reed’s second interception also set up USF’s only offensive touchdown.

Reed also had seven tackles in the game, which gave him an unofficial 100 for the season. writer Stewart Mandel wrote “It was a memorable way to go out in the final collegiate game for Reed, who will be playing on Sundays next fall.” was the other publication to name Reed its national player of the week.

This is the second time this season Reed has earned the C-USA weekly honor, and he remains the only Bulls player ever to receive the honor, as USF began playing in C-USA this season.

The only thing Reed is missing on his four-year resume at USF is a bowl berth, and the possibility of the Bulls receiving a bowl bid looks bleak following USF Athletic Director Lee Roy Selmon’s statement Monday.

“It’s unfortunate that we came up a little short in becoming bowl eligible,” Selmon said. “We knew what that would take going into the season, and we didn’t quite reach that.

“From all the people I’ve spoken to, it’s evident that the likelihood of us getting a favorable decision on any appeal is highly unlikely.”

Reed also agreed to play in the Gridiron Classic at The Villages, while senior teammate Maurice Jones agreed to play in the same All-Star game as well as the Hula Bowl, according to an article published Monday in The Tampa Tribune.