Inside Look: Texans' John Reid impact with the Penn State Nittany Lions

A closer look at Houston Texans cornerback John Reid and his career with Penn State.
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The Houston Texans drafted Penn State cornerback John Reid in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The addition of Reid brings a familiar face in the fold for head coach Bill O'Brien and the first official Nittany Lions player selected by the Texans. 

Reid in 2019 posted 37 total tackles, 2.5 for a loss, two interceptions, and eight pass break-ups. While in 2018, Reid had 24 total tackles, two interceptions, eight pass breakups, and two interceptions in 11 starts. 

Reid a four year player in Happy Valley impressed many with his play on the field and his accolades off of it obtaining two degrees, which included an internship Blizzard Entertainment. 

To find out more about Reid, we enlisted the help of Bob Flounders, who covers Penn State football for PennLive. Flounders has watched Reid grow as a player for the past four seasons and gives us an inside look on the Texans' newest cornerback. 

Inside Look on Texans John Reid

What did you see in the progression of John Reid from day one as a player?

John was a decorated recruit from James Franklin’s 2015 recruiting class and played at a prestigious school in the suburban Philadelphia area. 

The 2015 class was an important one for James as he was still trying to establish himself within the state of Pennsylvania and in the surrounding states with PSU still coming out of the sanctions.

John drew some praise from Franklin and the defensive coaches early in camp, and he actually started his first game at Temple due to a PSU injury. 

John was a confident player from his true freshman season, and you could tell by his second year, Penn State’s surprising Big Ten championship season of 2016, that he was already one of the Lions’ best coverage players. He had a very nice game in the Lions’ upset of Ohio State.

It was interesting to note that when he suffered a significant knee injury in the spring of 2017, forcing him to miss all of 2017, that it took him a little while to get going early in 2018. You could tell he needed some games to trust that his knee was healed. He got better as the season went on, but I thought there were some issues early in 2018.

Reid was a solid player for Penn State during his final year.

What are some skills Reid will have to work on with his game?

John’s ability to handle receivers from the slot position is impressive. When he did have some problems, it was against receivers that had a size advantage against him. 

He also was flagged a couple of times early in the season. One other thing, and this may be minor, but Penn State’s corners struggled to track the deep ball at times last year. If you get a chance to watch Penn State’s win at Iowa last season. John was flagged for a couple of penalties, and he was actually in the perfect position to prevent the Hawkeyes’ late TD, but he let an Iowa receiver go up over for him the ball.

Are you surprised the Bill O’Brien would go back to the Penn State well to find players?

Pat, I’m actually surprised that it took Bill this long to pick a Penn State player. I believe John is the first PSU player that was picked by the Texans during Billy O’s time in Houston.

John Reid seems to be more than just a football player, anything you can add to what you saw from him over the year?

Yes, and you will probably enjoy talking with him about this. Reid is an extremely smart guy who I think may have degrees in both computer science and engineering. 

He did, I believe, a couple of internships during his time at Penn State. And I also believe he’s built a couple of computers. He may be a legit genius, or at least borderline.

What do you expect to see from John Reid in the NFL?

I expect John to be a key contributor for the Texans in his first year. He can handle the slot position, and Reid has the speed and quickness to match up one on one with the smallish, quick receivers that give many teams problems. 

Penn State’s cornerbacks coach, Terry Smith, told us a couple of weeks ago that Reid has the best feet of any corner in the draft. And while that may be a stretch, his quickness is impressive.

Reid will also make an impact on special teams (punt coverage), and he has experience as a punt returner. He was a good one at Penn State in 2016.

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