Monday morning quarterback: Tribute to Ian Reed

Robbie Faulk

Staff Writer

This weekend in the Golden Triangle was supposed to be one filled with excitement built off of a salivating rivalry matchup between West Point and Starkville and the start of Southeastern Conference football season at Mississippi State.

I left Yellow Jacket Stadium on Friday night completely satisfied with what I had just watched. The Green Wave and Jacket clash was everything most of us expected it to be. The atmosphere was amazing and the stadium was packed to the gills in anticipation for a fast and physical matchup between two teams that are destined to make a run through Class 5A and Class 6A.

While trying not to diminish the game I watched on Friday in this weekly column, I feel it more important to share something that weighs heavier this week. The game itself was exhilarating, the Saturday morning news that followed, however, was sobering.

Getting set for a long day of college football, I scrolled through Twitter making my daily rounds on social media to peruse anything I might have missed the evening before. My jaw fell to the floor when I saw a post from Jacket assistant coach Clayton Moore that team videographer Ian Reed had passed away.

The news I discovered shortly after disgusted me and tore me to pieces even more, as it did the rest of the community of Starkville and those that knew Reed.

Reed had just finished up loading some of his video that he took that night. He had begun drawing attention across the state for his stellar highlights and pre-game hype videos. His final one ahead of the West Point game on Friday was the best I had seen from him as he had clips from past games in the rivalry as well as encouraging word from former Jackets Brady Davis, Milton Smith and Jawon Johnson.

SHS football coach Chris Jones remarked this weekend that Reed had told him before leaving that his highlight from the game on Friday would be something special. Jones didn’t doubt it one bit and was looking forward to what he had to share.

So Reed left the football complex for the final time and no one thought anything of it. He got on Highway 82 to head back to his home in Columbus and was likely set for a big day on campus on Saturday watching his beloved Bulldogs.

Not only was that Saturday taken away from him, the rest of his life was and the light that he brought to everyone he knew was suddenly gone as well. A driver coming down the wrong side of the highway in a stolen car hit Reed head on and both were killed instantly. Two lives gone in a blink because of a senseless act that will never be corrected.

I knew Reed sparingly. I’ve had interactions with him for several years via Twitter. I knew when he was in college that he was a huge sports fan that loved to discuss it at any opportunity. He loved Mississippi State and LeBron James, but the Starkville Yellow Jackets had just recently stole his heart.

Jones got a message from Reed back during the summer. He was coming off of an internship with WCBI and aspiring to work for ESPN one day. He asked Jones if he could be on his staff and film some highlights for the team during the week. Jones loved the idea, but didn’t know if he could afford to pay the aspiring young videographer.

Reed didn’t want money. He wanted opportunity, and he ran with it.

We all lost something special in Reed. I regret not getting to know more of the person that so many cherished in their short time with him. He wasn’t just a man behind the camera. He was inspiring to the kids on the team that had a bad day. He was a loving family member and a positive impact on everyone that came to know him.

So rest in peace, Ian. Your potential was limitless, but your impact was lasting. You will be missed in Starkville and beyond. 

Robbie Faulk is the high school writer for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are Faulk's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.