First ballot selection for Class of 2019
Upon his retirement from the NFL, there seemed to be little doubt that St. Rose native and former Destrehan High School star Ed Reed would one day have a bust in Canton.
Well, that’s now official.
Reed was officially named as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019, earning the sport’s highest individual distinction in his first year on the ballot.
Reed played for the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and New York Jets during his career, best known for his years as the league’s preeminent ball hawk in Baltimore.
Joining him in this year’s class is former Kansas City and Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez; former Seattle, New York Jets and Tennessee offensive lineman Kevin Mawae; former Washington and Denver cornerback Champ Bailey; former New England, Kansas City and New York Jets cornerback Ty Law; Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen; longtime league executive Gil Brandt and former Dallas and Kansas City defensive back and wide receiver Johnny Robinson.
Reed played 12 years in the NFL — 11 of those with the Baltimore — and immediately began racking up honor after honor after he was selected in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft.
Reed’s interception total of 64 ranks seventh all-time and he added nine others in his 15 career playoff games. He was a five-time All Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler. He was selected as NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and helped propel his Ravens to a Super Bowl championship in 2013 — fittingly, that game was played near his hometown in New Orleans.
While Reed was known for taking the ball away, he was also a terror once he had it in his hands. Reed’s 1,590 career yards on interception returns rank as the most in NFL history, outpacing former record-holder Rod Woodson’s previous mark by more than 100 yards. He returned seven pickoffs for touchdowns.
Reed was the first player in NFL history to return an interception, punt, blocked punt and fumble for touchdowns during his career.
At Destrehan, Reed starred in football, basketball, baseball and track and field. His efforts caught the eye of the University of Miami, where he was a two-time All-American and was a cornerstone on the Hurricanes’ 2001 National Champion squad. His 21 interceptions at the school were another school record.
Reed remains active with DHS, sponsoring the school’s annual Ed Reed jamboree and hosting a yearly football camp there.
Destrehan head football coach Stephen Robicheaux, who was the Wildcats’ defensive coordinator during Reed’s run with the school, always speaks highly of Reed the player, but holds Reed the man in even higher regard.
“I’m just amazed every time I’m around him, just a person who really, really wants to make other people happy and to help out where he can,” Robicheaux said. “It says a lot about a guy who can be anywhere he wants to be, and he chooses to come down here and sp