Crusader and senior Jaylen Reed is the winner of the 2020 Black Athlete of the Year for football. Reed wins over Cass Tech’s Kalen King, Belleville’s Damon Payne, and West Bloomfield’s Donovan Edwards. Reed received 3,358 out of 6,294 votes.
This is a statewide acknowledgement given by The Black Athlete brand which is founded by John D. White.
“This award means a lot, especially being a black kid from a majority black school," Reed said. "It's special and an honor to get the Black Athlete award. I feel very proud of myself and a little emotional to win something that big."
Reed is the third football player from King to win the Black Athlete of the Year award: Jalen Jackson won it in 2017, and Dequan Finn won it in 2018.
“I was nominated for a slot of other minor awards but nothing major like that one,” Reed said.
Reed is a 6-foot, 205-pound safety and linebacker with 55 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and five sacks. Reed also has a 2018 state championship on his list of achievements.
More than 30 colleges wanted Reed, but he decided to go to Penn State this fall.
“I chose Penn State because of the family atmosphere up there, the facilities, the academics, the coaches, the stadium, and everything else just fit perfectly for me,” Reed said.