The obvious career move for a player who has seen his time in the NFL come into the end is to jump into the cockpit of an F-16. Right?
Well, former defensive end Nick Reed is attempting to make that very move having seen his NFL career come to an end.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, Reed has joined the Air Force and is working toward becoming a fighter pilot.
“I would like to be a fighter (pilot),” Reed said. “Flying jets is cool and I would love to do it, but it’s very competitive and depending on when I graduate there might not be any spots available. You need a lot of skill and luck to make that happen. If that doesn’t work out then I will have a pilot’s license and I’m excited to fly.”
Reed’s time in the NFL was short-lived. Despite being one of the all-time sack leaders in the (then) Pac-10 conference, Reed was just a seventh round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2009. He appeared in all 16 games as a rookie with Seattle and recorded 17 tackles and a sack in limited playing time
The highlight of Reed’s NFL career was a 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars as a rookie with Seattle. A knee injury led to his release by the Seahawks with an injury settlement at the end of training camp in 2010. He resurfaced with Chicago and Tampa Bay and went to training camp with the Minnesota Vikings last season but couldn’t latch on with a roster for the season.
Soon after he found out he had been accepted into the Air Force and decided to jump at the opportunity. Reed is on track to begin pilot training in June.
“I’m proud to say I played and got to do it and had that opportunity and I was lucky got to play. But I wasn’t ready for it to be over. Not that I regret this track I’m on,” Reed said.”…But once you’re gone, you’re gone. When they’re not answering your phone calls anymore you have to move, and everything happens for a reason.”