SCOOBA – For the third time in the last four years, East Mississippi Community College has produced an NFL Draft selection. Former EMCC and University of Alabama defensive lineman Jarran Reed was selected during Friday night's second round by the Seattle Seahawks as the 49th pick overall in this year's professional draft held in Chicago.
Reed, who began his successful collegiate career as a two-year starter for head coach Buddy Stephens' EMCC Lions during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, continued his track to the professional ranks as a two-year starter at defensive tackle for head coach Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide. During his four college seasons, Reed's East Mississippi and Alabama teams combined for a collective 46-5 record, including an NJCAA Championship during the 2013 season with the Lions and this past year's FBS National Championship as a member of the Crimson Tide's run-stuffing defensive front.
A native of Goldsboro, N.C., Reed follows in the footsteps of former NJCAA All-Americans and current NFL defensive linemen Za'Darius Smith (Greenville, Ala.) and Quinton Dial (Pinson, Ala.), who both also starred for the EMCC Lions before playing in the Southeastern Conference and ultimately being selected in the NFL Draft. A year ago out of the University of Kentucky, Smith was a fourth-round selection (122nd pick overall) by the Baltimore Ravens, while Dial, a member of two BCS National Championship teams at Alabama, was chosen in the fifth round (157th pick overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
During his two years on the Scooba campus, Reed was credited with 100 career stops, including 10.5 tackles for loss, along with six quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. The 6-foot-3, 311-pound defensive tackle previously teamed in the JUCO ranks with eventual Alabama teammate D.J. Pettway to help limit East Mississippi's 2013 season opponents to just 9.8 points per game, including five shutouts during a six-game stretch, as the Lions claimed their second of three NJCAA titles during a four-year span.
As a 28-game starter on Alabama's talent-laden defensive front, Reed totaled 112 career tackles for the Crimson Tide, including 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as well as eight quarterback pressures and seven pass breakups. After earning All-SEC honorable mention honors from the Associated Press as a junior, Reed was tabbed AP All-SEC Second Team this past year after ranking as the team's fourth-leading tackler with 57 total stops.
Having capped his collegiate career by participating in the Reese's Senior Bowl, Reed became East Mississippi's highest NFL Draft pick since former Mississippi State University running back James "J.J." Johnson (Mobile, Ala.) was picked 39th overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 1999 NFL Draft. EMCC's highest NFL Draft selection was former nine-year pro running back Antowain Smith (Millbrook, Ala.), who was chosen in the first round (23rd pick overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills coming out of the University of Houston.
Reed will join at least four other former East Mississippi Community College standouts in the National Football League this coming season. Smith totaled 30 tackles and 5.5 sacks as an NFL rookie a year ago with the Ravens and was the league's only rookie to record at least two multiple-sack games on the season. Earlier this year, Dial received a three-year contract extension through the 2019 season by the San Francisco 49ers after starting a career-high 15 games last season in addition to establishing personal season bests with 59 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Having also previously played for Coach Stephens at East Mississippi (2010-11) before continuing his collegiate career at Mississippi State, former NJCAA All-America defensive end Denico Autry (Albemarle, N.C.) developed into an eight-game starter for the NFL's Oakland Raiders a year ago with 22 tackles and three sacks after originally signing as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
Additionally, seven-year NFL veteran LeGarrette Blount (Perry, Fla.) was a two-time (2006-07) NJCAA All-America running back for the EMCC Lions prior to embarking on a successful professional career. The University of Oregon product recently re-signed with the New England Patriots after rushing for a team-high 703 yards last season. Blount will enter the upcoming NFL campaign having rushed for 3,961 career yards and 31 touchdowns after originally signing with the Tennessee Titans in 2010 as an undrafted free agent and then beginning his pro playing career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.