Injured cornerback Reid, defensive end Brown optimistic about returns

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- John Reid's friends thought the Nittany Lion cornerback was setting them up with an April Fool's joke.

"As funny as it sounds, I told some of my friends, 'Yo, I just hurt my knee real bad,' " Reid recalled Thursday at Fiesta Bowl media day, his first time addressing reporters since the injury. "They're like, 'Alright man, stop playing around.' I'm like, 'When am I gonna play around about something like that?' "

Reid sustained a season-ending left knee injury on April 1, sending him into rehab mode while the rest of his teammates were gearing up for a Big Ten title defense. For the starting cornerback whose passion for all things football -- from the physical demands, mental preparations and exhaustive film study that helped him learn the defense inside and out -- Reid's been forced to be patient this season.

The good news for Penn State is Reid said he's on pace to come back better than he was before, using this redshirt season to help teammates and work as the Nittany Lions' signal caller for games. Reid said he should be fine for spring ball, but certainly there won't be a need to push him along since Penn State knows what it has in the player who came in and contributed as a true freshman and then followed it up with a strong sophomore season. It's why the returning players in the secondary said this group won't miss a beat next season despite graduating both starting cornerbacks.

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