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This is the fourth of six letters in the "Dear Rookies" series written and read by family members of the Los Angeles Chargers' newest players. We continue with former Virginia wide receiver Joe Reed, who the Chargers selected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.



By Carlton and Tonya Reed

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From the moment we laid eyes on you, the morning of January 4, 1998, we knew you were going to be special. 

You came into the world a beautiful baby with a head full of curly black hair, wide-eyed, and ready to make your mark on the world! We named you Joseph William, after your grandfathers. Your brother, C.J., adored you and called you "Jofus Willman" because he could not pronounce your name. He still adores you, is your biggest fan, and shares your successes every change he gets. You were an easy baby who loved to sleep on your dad's stomach, found joy in being entertained by C.J. and enjoyed spending the days with Grandma Lillie while we worked.

We watched you grow and thrive. People sometimes referred to you as an old soul because you were advanced beyond your years. That was because you were determined; determined to keep up with C.J. You learned from watching him do things and became interested in doing the things he did. That determination and interest led you to play your first sport, Dixie Youth Baseball, alongside your brother. At four years old, your skillset was evident. Your performance on the field caught everyone's attention, and your dad immediately knew you were going to be an exceptional athlete.

Through the years, we've watched you participate in Dixie Youth Baseball, earning you several trips to the World Series, and even made an appearance in a Super Bowl. Middle and high school sports were no different. Watching you play was always a thrill. You thrilled us and you thrilled the fans, both home and visiting. You've always practiced hard and played hard. You have been respectful to your coaches and a team player.

And then came the University of Virginia. Not only were you an exceptional athlete, but you were a student scholar, graduating in 3.5 years. Your dad and I couldn't be more proud! You have been dedicated and focused. You set your goals and put in the time and work to reach those goals.

Now you are about to embark upon a new chapter in your life. A chapter where the sky is the limit. You will develop new relationships, make new memories, and have experiences of which you will deserve. Whether near or far, we will continue to support you, continue to cheer for you, but most importantly, we will always continue to pray for you. You have made your family and your community extremely proud. You have set the example and paved the way for the young men who will come behind you. We love you more than you'll ever know!

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Get to know WR Joe Reed and browse through photos of him as a kid.

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