Demarius Reed, Found Dead, Wanted To Play In the NFL, Says Grandfather


Joe L. Reed, grandfather of Demarius Reed, a 20-year-old Eastern Michigan football player who was found dead Friday in an off-campus apartment building, said that his grandson aspired to play in the NFL.

"I told him 'Man, you have to stay in that gym,'" Reed told Huffington Post. "He would say 'I'm good enough.' He loved the game."

"He was an outgoing, beautiful kid. He wasn't associated with no gang or anything. I would say, 'Hey man. Don't go outside.' I wouldn't let him associate with anybody over there."

Reed's grandfather was not in favor of him staying in an off-campus apartment.

"He was on scholarship," said Reed's grandfather. "He could have stayed on-campus."

Reed's roommate discovered the body at about 7:15 a.m. in a hallway of the apartment building, a day before a home game against Ohio University. Police authorities believe it to be a homicide. Apparently Reed was killed in a robbery attempt.

"The circumstances involving his death remain under investigation at this time by the Ypsilanti Police Department," school President Susan Martin said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and his teammates on the football team."

At Eastern Michigan, the 5-foot-10-inch, 161-pound receiver played in six games this season, catching 15 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. He made 18 receptions for 171 yards and scored a touchdown in nine games last season.

"The EMU family has suffered an unbelievable loss today," said Heather Lyke, vice president and athletic director at the school in the official statement. "Demarius was an influential leader who thrived in the classroom and on the field. Everyone gravitated to him and often described him as the 'life of the locker room.'"

Reed majored in Communication, Media and Theatre Arts at the Simeon Career Academy in Chicago.

"It's really hard for me to talk about it," Dimitrius Hardwick, one of Reed's childhood coaches, told Chicago Tribune. "His drive and his will to succeed in life, period, whether it was in school or on the field, you know that was just the type of young man he was."

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