Rising junior defensive end Justin Reed (Apex, N.C.) has been named the winner of the 2023 Admiral Mack Award, which is awarded to the most improved player during spring football practice.

“I’m extremely thankful to win this award,” said Reed.  “My teammates have continued to push me every day to get better. There is still much more work to be done, I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to get better every day perfecting my craft.”

“Justin has been a solid contributor for us for the last two seasons and through hard work and consistency this off-season and during spring ball he has become one of our best players,” said head coach Brian Newberry. “He is the perfect example of what our program is all about.”

“Justin had a great spring,” said defensive line coach Jerrick Hall.  He is a blue collar guy and brings his lunch pail to work every day.”

Reed has played in all 24 games his first two years, starting two contests.  He has recorded 19 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and 1 fumble recovery. He had a career-high 4 tackles last year against Notre Dame.

The Vice Admiral Mack Award was initiated in 1976 and is named in honor of the Naval Academy Superintendent from 1972-75. Admiral Mack was a strong supporter of the school’s intercollegiate athletic program.

Reed is the fourth-consecutive defensive player to be chosen and the 27th overall over the past 46 years.  Reed is the sixth defensive end to win the award and the first since Jackson Perkins in 2019.  Reed’s teammate, rising senior linebacker Will Harbour, won the award last year.

Navy will conclude spring drills this week with practices on Monday and Wednesday.

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