When the Wittenberg football team takes the field on Saturdays, the players are led by local product Reed Florence. Florence is a senior quarterback for the Tigers and is in his second full season as a starter. Florence is a graduate of Southeastern High School in South Charleston, Ohio, and was named second team All-North Coast Athletic Conference in 2012. By the time Florence is done at Wittenberg he will have his name at or near the top of every quarterback record at the school.
Florence was named second team all-state in high school and was a very high profile recruit in the area. In Florence’s freshman year, even though the team already had an excellent starter in Ben Zoeller, Florence’s promise was too much to be kept on the sidelines. He appeared in six games during the 2010 season as a change of pace quarterback, rushing for 66 yards and throwing a touchdown. Florence saw more playing time as a sophomore in 2011, as he and Zoeller were the number one and two quarterbacks in terms of passing efficiency in the conference, respectively. That season Reed rushed for 161 yards and seven touchdowns, while also throwing for 141 yards and seven touchdowns. Florence usually took over the quarterbacking duties once the Wittenberg offense reached the red zone as a dual threat option.
Florence took over the starting quarterback duties full time in 2012 and did not disappoint. He led the team to a (10-2) record and a first round playoff win over Heidelberg. Florence threw for 2819 yards through the air and 28 touchdowns. He also ran for 485 yards and another seven touchdowns. Florence’s season left him among the program’s leaders in many categories, including passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback rushing yards in a season. His performance against Heidelberg was also among the best in school history. He threw for the most completion and touchdowns in a playoff game while also throwing for the second most yards ever in Wittenberg history.
This season has started off with the same success for Florence and the Tigers. The signal caller has passed for 781 yards and six touchdowns, rushed for 84 yards and three touchdown, and even caught a 40 yard pass for a touchdown. After losing the opener to Butler, the Tigers have won their past two NCAC games by a combined score of 104-0. Florence will look to have an even better season than last year and will attempt to win NCAC Player of the Year.
Off the field, Florence is a productive member of the Wittenberg community. He has volunteered with Relay for Life and the Special Olympics. In 2011 and 2012 Florence was nominated for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works team for his contributions in the community. Florence is a Sports Management major and hopes to get into coaching after graduation. He also enjoys playing basketball when he’s not on the gridiron. It will be exciting to watch Florence and the Tigers the rest of the season.