NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Rod Reed knows very well the tradition of Tennessee State football, the only Historically Black College that is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
He first started living it while growing up the son of Robert Reed, a former All-American guard for the Tigers in 1963-64 who later played for the Washington Redskins. From father to son, stories were spun of the HBC powerhouse coached by legendary John Merritt, who won six small-college national championships and four black college football national crowns from 1963-83.
Two decades later, Reed would then live and breathe TSU football on his own, as an All-American linebacker. He would set the team’s single-season tackles record in 1987, while guiding the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.
Indeed, Reed knows what it means to wear a Tigers uniform, just like such NFL greats as …