Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid's family hasn't traditionally earned many good headlines. In 2007, Reid's sons Britt and Garrett both landed in jail for problems with drugs and guns. At one point, a Philadelphia judge called the Reid house "a drug emporium."
For a Mormon family (or any family, for that matter), the issues were a stunning and uncomfortably public turn of events. Now, some four years later, Britt and Garrett's younger brother has given the family something to celebrate beyond an NFL field, with Spencer Reid signing to play as a running back for the Temple Owls.
"After Al Golden left for Miami, Coach Addazio saw my film and came to school to see me," Spencer Reid told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I got a real good vibe from him, could see that he was committed to winning. I want to contribute to that.
"My parents gave me their thoughts and opinions, but the decision was mine. It was good to have them there, though, and be able to talk things over afterward with them."
Unlike his older brothers, Spencer Reid has stayed out of trouble throughout his college career, which finished at Harriton (Penn.) High after a stint at St. Joseph's (Penn.) Prep. As a senior, the youngest Reid ran for 960 yards and 15 touchdowns while his 214 receiving yards also included three touchdowns through the air.
Temple returns roster depth at running back, so Reid may not play in the offensive backfield as a freshman, though he could see time as either an outside linebacker -- that was his defensive position for the Rams -- or on special teams.
"I really loved Spencer," new Temple coach Steve Addazio told the Philadelphia media on Wednesday. "I saw his tape. He was at camp here. He's a 4.5 40 guy, right now he's a 210-pound guy, he's a strong guy, he's got ball skills, he's really tough, he truly understands the game.
"You know, I think he's going to be a special player here."
Wherever and whenever he plays, the youngest Reid brother intimated that the tribulations endured by his older brother helped pave the way to his success, both by showing him a life to avoid and by following his brothers' lead after they emerged from prison. One of them, Britt, will continue as a student assistant coach at Temple next year, where the two of them can work together for the Owls.
"They've kind of been the spine to me," Reid told the Inquirer.
His more famous father agreed.
"He's focused. It's school, studying, football, church for him," said Andy Reid, beaming. The other kids' issues, Andy said, "Helped him."