Antonio Reed had a new jersey hanging in his locker Monday morning.
After perhaps the game of his career Saturday against Michigan State, the senior safety was awarded a Blackshirt Monday morning by the Huskers coaching staff, the 14th Nebraska player to earn one. Now all 11 early-season starters, both Davis twins and Reed have the practice jerseys.
Head coach Scott Frost said Monday they “don’t want to make a bigger deal out of it than what it is,” so Reed’s jersey was hanging in his locker when he got to the facility Monday morning.
“He’s capable of playing at that level all the time and it was great to see it come to fruition when we really needed it,” Frost said.
Reed went for seven tackles Saturday — five of them solo and three of them for loss — with two forced fumbles, two pass break-ups and an interception. He had what Frost called the play of the game when he came free off the right side for a sack-fumble in the fourth quarter against the Spartans.
“I certainly felt like he could have been recognized as a conference player of the week with the difference he made in a defensive struggle, in a 9-6 football game,” Frost said. “In our eyes that’s what he was.”
Reed probably deserved at least a co-POTW nod after the performance but the conference went another direction.
The Big Ten named Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa and Minnesota linebacker Blake Cashman co-Defensive Players of the Week. Epenesa forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, scored a touchdown, recorded a sack, and blocked a punt all in a two-minute span while Cashman had a career-high 20 tackles (the first 20-tackle Big Ten game in regulation since 2013).
Reed will have to settle for a Blackshirt earned on his Senior Day.