August 31, 2018 11:36:30 AM
SCOOBA -- The Hinds Community College football team is well aware of what it has in Reggie Todd, and it plans on exploiting that as much as its opponents will let it.
In a perfect world, Todd would have spent August battling for playing time in a Mississippi State receiving corps desperate for an alpha dog to make himself known; instead, he ended it by bringing in two receptions for 24 yards in Hinds C.C.'s 50-0 loss to East Mississippi Community College Thursday. He also returned three kicks for 75 yards as he tries to move on from his unceremonious departure from MSU.
"I came out feeling good, but it felt a little different," Todd said.
The Mobile, Alabama, native signed with MSU in the 2016 class, redshirting in 2016 before a small window of opportunity last season, catching 14 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. Given MSU lost two of its top three receivers from a team that didn't have much going for it in the receiver department to begin with, Todd was looked to as one of MSU's better options over the offseason.
Then he was arrested on June 14 for simple assault. The charge stemmed from an alleged fight with a man on Hospital Road in Starkville; Todd turned himself in. He was indefinitely suspended from the program by coach Joe Moorhead later that day. By July, Todd was no longer with the program in any capacity, searching for his next step.
"It affected me a little bit," Todd said, who added the legal fallout from that incident is now resolved. "It hurts me a little bit, but I'm trying to overcome the adversity of everything."
He surfaced at Hinds C.C. thanks to the help of a current Bulldog: Stephen Guidry.
Guidry play for Hinds C.C. in 2017 and went to MSU, where he met Todd during spring practice. When Todd left the program, Guidry connected him with the coaching staff at Hinds C.C., led by Larry Williams.
"Stephen helped with him, kind of vouched for him and told us what kind of person we were getting," Williams said. "Guidry knows what type of program we run here, and he told us, 'Coach, he made a mistake but it ain't his character, I know.' He told him what kind of program we run here."
Williams has seen it firsthand, as he said Todd has grown to be a presence his wide receiver group needed.
"He's a real fun guy to be around," Williams said. "He's a vocal leader for the guys and trying to get them to understand how to practice at that level, what you have to do at that level to get to that level. We're real young at receiver, so he's kind of that big brother to them to tell them how to do this and do that."
On Thursday, he finally got to show how his impact will be much more than qualitative.
Todd was tough to spot in the first quarter, as EMCC turned its attention to him and gave him little in the way of openings. He wasn't thrown to until the second quarter, and that first target was little more than a desperation heave as Hinds C.C. quarterback Tylan Morton evaded pressure. Morton tried to find him later in the second quarter just to be intercepted.
Todd came alive in the third quarter. With five minutes left, Todd was the recipient of a screen that he took for seven yards; two plays later, the Eagles went back to him for a quick slant that he turned into 17 yards and a first down. The Eagles threw to him twice more on the next two plays, just for one incompletion and a pass interference call Todd drew.
As Todd embarks on his season as an Eagle, he wants to improve his conditioning and his route running. When asked if he wanted to return to MSU, he made it clear, "my options are open," as evidenced by an official offer from Indiana.
"Reggie, he'll get keep getting better," Williams said. "He'll keep learning what's going on. He's going to be one of the top receivers in this league."
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson
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