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Joe Reed Bringing Versatility to Bolts


Led country in kick return yardage (33.2 yards/return) in 2019.

Holds Virginia's career kick return yardage record (3,042 yards.)

Also holds school record for career kick return touchdowns (five.)

Joe Reed made his mark at UVA throughout college and looks to do that now with the Chargers after the team selected him in the fifth round just a couple weeks ago.

His success on special teams goes without saying, and it's something Reed prides not only himself in, but the confidence he instills in those around him to put him in positions to succeed.

"I've been doing that since I've been playing ball," Reed said. "It's a God-given ability and trusting my vision and my athleticism. Trusting the coaches, trusting the scheme. It's all it comes down to. And just going, not thinking too much; seeing the hole and going. I've been blessed with the ability to return kicks since I was young, and that's something I've taken pride in since."

"Kickoff returns, that's something he's very, very good at," general manager Tom Telesco said. "That was the first thing that stood out to us with him was his kickoff return ability. He has the size you look for in that position at 6-0, 225-pounds, and the speed, explosion and the feel to do it."

But along with his return prowess, Reed has shown he's adept with skills as a receiver and running back as well.

"(I) break tackles and make big plays (as a receiver,)" he said. "What could be a short gain, I'm the type of guy to (get) yards after catch and be elusive…. I played some running back in high school and played a little bit here at UVA. From the phone calls I've had (on draft day,) that's something I plan on taking with me to L.A."

That versatility is something Telesco and his staff took note of and ultimately, is something Reed is looking forward to bringing out west.

"It's going to help him hold a roster spot because he can do a lot of different things for us both on offense, and really, (play) multiple positions as a receiver and a running back," Telesco said. "I talked to the scouts and talked to the coaches, we almost call him like a wingback with some stuff he did at Virginia…. (He had) big-time production at Virginia returning kicks and also covering kicks and covering punts. To have some special teams value, not only returning but also covering kicks, in the receiver room is really helpful and will help him get his career going as he develops into a receiver."

"(Versatility) helps me a lot," Reed mentioned.  "Just because the coaches know they can line me up anywhere and I'll have the ability to be successful."

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