Despite being one of the smallest states in the country, it seems every year there is a Connecticut connection at the Super Bowl and this year is no different. Last year Bristol Central star Aaron Hernandez and Plainville native Niko Koutouvides played for the New England Patriots and William Beatty of UConn played for the New York Giants.
This time around, it's David Reed, a native of New Britain, who will be suiting up for the Baltimore Ravens when they play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday.
Reed was activated from the "physically unable to perform list" with five games left in the regular season and has also played in the playoffs. He provides the Ravens with another threat in the kicking game and adds depth to the receiving corps.
Reed set a Ravens' record in his rookie season in 2010 for the longest kick return in franchise history, a 103-yard touchdown. After recovering from a knee injury that kept him on the injured list most of this season, Reed made his first NFL reception in a Dec. 16, 2012 game versus Denver. He caught five passes in two games this year.
In Sunday's AFC Championship Game win over New England, Reed played on special teams, a role he will likely serve during the Super Bowl.
Reed went to St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol his freshman year of high school where he lettered in football and basketball. He left St. Paul the following year to attend New Britain High School and then followed his head coach, Jack Cochran, to New London High School, where he was First Team All-Conference and All-State.
He went on to attend Pasadena (CA) City College. He was named First Team All-Conference and First Team Junior College Gridwire All-American. Reed was recruited by Utah, Iowa, and Kansas State and picked Utah.
Reed's brother Jordan also played at New London High School. For the past three years has has played tight end for the University of Florida and was the Gators' leading receiver. He will enter the NFL draft.
According to his bio on baltimoreravens.com, in his first season at Utah, Reed earned All-MWC honorable mention as kick-returner. He played in all 13 games, on special teams and as wide receiver, recording 25 catches for 427 yards (17.1 yards per reception led Utah) and six touchdown catches (ranked second on the team). Reed helped the 2008 Utes to a 13–0 season and a 31–17 win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, in which he averaged 29.0 yards on two receptions, including a 28-yard touchdown grab that gave Utah a 28-17 lead.
As a senior, Reed set school records for both receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,188) in a season. He led the MWC and ranked 15th in the nation in receiving yards per game (91.4). He also led the MWC in receptions with 81 and was the only 1,000-yard receiver in the conference (1,188).
On December 13, 2010, against the Houston Texans, Reed scored his first NFL touchdown on a 103-yard kickoff return. The return set a new Ravens franchise record (eclipsing the old mark of 97 yards by Patrick Johnson) and his 233 kickoff return yards were also the second most in franchise history. For his efforts, Reed was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Editor's note: This article originally was published by Berlin Patch.