EAST LANSING — The last time Michigan State football fans saw Jayden Reed, he put on a master class in making tough touchdown grabs look easy.
The next time they’ll see him won’t be in the NFL, it will be back at Spartan Stadium, catching passes one more season from his longtime friend Payton Thorne.
Reed decided to wait on turning pro after a strong junior season and finale in the Peach Bowl against Pitt.
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“Personally, I just look at myself. I’m very self-critical,” the senior said last week. “I looked at the film — I obviously don’t think I reached my potential. I don’t even think I scratched the surface after last year. I feel like I can be a much better player than I was from last year.”
Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed (1) scores a touchdown against Pittsburgh defensive back A.J. Woods (25) during the first half of the Peach Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.
After earning third-team All-Big Ten at receiver and second-team honors at return specialist, Reed’s return not only gives junior quarterback Thorne his favorite play-maker back — it also gives the senior a chance to join some of the Spartans’ all-time great wide receivers with another similarly productive season.
Reed became just the 10th Spartan and first since Aaron Burbridge in 2015 to finish with more than 1,000 yards receiving in a season, finishing with 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns on 59 catches. The only MSU receivers who have eclipsed 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons are Charles Rogers (2001-02) and Plaxico Burress (1998-99).
The last player to lead the Spartans in receiving yards three straight years was Andre Rison (1986-88). Reed’s 407 yards were tops in the pandemic-shortened…