Cyclones in the NFL: Jeremy Reeves conquers injury, adversity in comeback


Don’t be ashamed if you’ve forgotten about Jeremy Reeves. The former Iowa State defensive back had everything going for him in 2012 until a setback gave him incredibly long odds from making it in the NFL. At  the end of the day, he still got his shot.

Reeves finished sixth on the team in total tackles (70) in his senior season, also recording two of them for a loss, broke up 12 passes, and had a pickoff return for a touchdown in the Liberty Bowl against Tulsa. He started in all 13 games for the Cyclones in his last two years.

Being an honorable mention on the All-Big 12 team by the coaches, Reeves was a NFL prospect that was trying to gain momentum with an upcoming Iowa State Pro Day. A few weeks prior to the event, the cornerback suffered a torn pectoral muscle that would force him out of even being signed as an undrafted free agent.

From the New York Jets official website:

"Reeves faced a life-altering decision: Move on from his dreams of playing in the NFL or spend the next year of his life devoted to rehabbing, staying in shape and hoping he could remain one of the hundreds of blips on one of 32 teams’ radars. He chose the latter.“It was tough because you never know what’s going to happen, especially for a guy my size,” he said. “Sometimes you’re going to get knocked out of the market and they’re not even going to think about you anymore. So I had to do something. I had to have a great pro day the next time around to get a team’s attention.”"

Fast forward to a year later, and Reeves finally made that appearance at Iowa State Pro Day. It went so well that the cornerback was able to sign on with the Jets afterwards (via NBC Sports).

"According to the Des Moines Register, Reeves was timed at 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Pro Day 40 times are so often inflated that it’s hard not to be skeptical of that time, but there’s no doubt that he showed off great speed while also recording a vertical jump of 43 inches and broad jump of 11 feet, 6 inches. And Reeves says he was nursing a hamstring injury and could have done better.Because he was eligible for last year’s draft and went undrafted, he was eligible to sign with any team this offseason. The Jets liked what they saw at the Pro Day enough to sign him, and now he’ll get his chance to make the NFL."

Hard work paid off for Reeves, who had all the excuses to not make in the NFL, but instead put in the effort in rehab and delivered on a big stage to convince one of the 32 NFL teams to give an opportunity. That’s large odds to overcome, but Reeves was able to make his debut alongside Jeremiah George in the Jets’ first preseason game and recorded a tackle.

Now we’ll see what transpires in the upcoming chapters of Reeves’ journey.