Navy Defensive End Justin Reed Ready For Senior Season

Nov 28, 2020; Annapolis, Maryland, USA; A Navy Midshipmen helmet is seen on the sidelines during the
Nov 28, 2020; Annapolis, Maryland, USA; A Navy Midshipmen helmet is seen on the sidelines during the / Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Entering his fourth and final season with the Midshipmen, defensive end Justin Reed will once again be one of the leaders of the Navy defense. Reed had 7.5 tackles for loss with 4.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries in 2023.

The North Carolina native is one only a few seniors that will be in his position group for the Mids this season. Reed spoke with WBAL in Baltimore this week during spring practice about helping that group prepare for the 2024 season.

"The d-line is the heart of the defense. We've got to be able to step up," Reed noted. "There's a lot of young guys in the room right now. They're getting some opportunities and we've got to be able to capitalize on those moments to be able to gain that trust from the rest of the defense, to be able to step on the field knowing that up front, we'll take care of our jobs."

Looking back on 2023, his most productive college season, Reed also shared his biggest takeaway from Navy's 5-7 campaign that included two one-score losses.

"The most important thing is execution and fixation to details. Those are the biggest things that I took away from last season," Reed said. "It could be a few yards that could make all the difference."

As the Midshipmen look to get back to the postseason in Brian Newberry's second season at the helm, Reed's senior class will be focused on living up to the legacy set by teams before them. Navy's last trip to a bowl game was in 2019 when they finished 11-2.

"I'm fired up. This is my last ride. Being able to see all the guys that came before us, we want to make them proud," Reed said of the upcoming season. "They're going to be watching us on TV now and we've got to do our best job so that they're proud of us and we're able to take care of the team."

Navy will host an open spring practice inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on April 6. They open their regular season with FCS Bucknell on August 31.

Joe Londergan