Posted by Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:
Sacramento State’s football coaches knew Brandyn Reed could be a playmaker and the Santa Rosa Junior College transfer delivered, leading the Hornets in receiving and recently earning second team Big Sky all-conference honors.
The junior from Windsor High School played a large role in Sacramento State’s strong finish, including catching the game winning touchdown pass against rival UC Davis. The Hornets finished 5-6 with their 4-4 Big Sky mark tying for second best in school history.
Another former Sonoma County prep football standout gave Sacramento State a late season spark. Jeff Badger, a freshman from Cardinal Newman, was recruited as a linebacker, but made his greatest impact filling in for injured running backs.
Reed made an immediate impact, leading Sacramento State with 46 receptions for 731 yards. His 7 touchdowns also led the Hornets.
He pulled in a single game, season high 10 balls in a loss to Montana, which reached the NCAA Division I-AA championship game Friday, losing to Villanova.
The 141 receiving yards Reed put up against Eastern Washington were another single game, season high for Sacramento State. Eastern Washington also went to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.
Saving his most complete game for the end, Reed caught 7 balls for 134 yards and two touchdowns against rival UC Davis in the season finale.
The second score made Reed an instant hero for Hornet fans. With just 20 seconds to play, Reed made a clutch 13 yard catch in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in Sacramento State’s come from behind win.
Hornet faithful this season witnessed what Bear Cubs fans marveled at two years ago when Reed led all California junior college players with 16 touchdown catches. While Reed appeared headed to play NCAA Division I football, Sacramento State made the best offer and he is making a major impact with the opportunity.
Two years ago, Badger helped lead Cardinal Newman to the California high school Division III state championship game. He was the second leading rusher in that loss, but Badger led the Cardinals in tackles on the season and Sacramento State recruited him as a linebacker.
Getting limited play at linebacker his first year with the Hornets, Badger moved up the state sheet as a running back late in the season. Badger helped fill a void as the Hornets lost several backs to injury, including the leading rusher who then was suspended for violating team rules.
Badger ran the ball 29 times for 107 yards, third on the team during a span when the Hornets won three of their last four games.