Penn State's once veteran secondary will get a much needed boost in a transition year this season as junior John Reid will be "full go" for spring practice according to coach James Franklin.
The Nittany Lions are replacing a host of players including Marcus Allen, Christian Campbell, Troy Apke and Grant Haley. All three had become staples in Penn State's coverage unit over the years.
Reid will reprise his role at corner this season after missing all of 2017 with injury. Reid reportedly tore his ACL, although it was never officially confirmed by Penn State.
"Yeah, we are expecting him to be full-go for spring ball," Franklin said on Wednesday. "He's participating in the morning workouts right now. Obviously there's no rush to bring him back. He's played a lot of football for us. But I know the coaches are excited about working with him. I know John is excited about getting back on the field."
Prior to his return Reid had still traveled with the team, counting towards Big Ten travel roster limits, a show of how valuable an asset to the likes of freshman Lamont Wade and Traiq Castro-Fields and the rest of the secondary Reid had become even off the field. Reid will likely start at some point, if not immediately across from either Amani Oruwariye or a host of other cornerback options. Reid also --in theory-- could play safety as well, but that seems unlikely.
"So far, so good," Franklin added. "We're expecting him to have a huge role on our team, not only as a player but also as a leader. You know, should be pretty excited to get him back. He's got so much respect from our players and from our coaches. It will be exciting to get him back full-go in the spring and the summer camp."
In 26 games played for Penn State, Reid has amassed 40 tackles and three interceptions in addition to two fumble recoveries. The Nittany Lions certainly aren't short on talent, but will look to Reid and Oruwariye to anchor an otherwise young safety and corner group.