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EMU to reintroduce jersey number 2 for first time since Demarius Reed’s death

The honor will be awarded on an annual basis in memory of the former EMU receiver.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Michigan University announced Friday evening it will “continue the legacy of the #2 jersey” starting this season to honor the memory of slain former receiver Demarius Reed.

Reed, a 20-year-old junior at the time of his death, was on the way to having a career year as a starting receiver, accumulating 15 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown through six games in 2013.

Reed was killed at his residence on Oct. 18, 2013 during a botched armed robbery attempt, just a day before EMU was set to take on the Ohio Bobcats at Rynearson Stadium.

As a memorial to Reed’s memory, the football team wore patches and helmet stickers for the rest of the season and his number 2 jersey was buried at the 50-yard line under the Block E prior to the grey FieldTurf being installed in 2014. Reed’s locker is also memorialized in the Football Team Building.

The number will be issued to the team’s best returning or most senior receiver prior to the start of each season. This season, Sergio Bailey II has been selected to wear the number 2 jersey.

Bailey, a senior, is the team’s best returning receiver, hauling in 60 receptions for 868 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016. The San Diego, California native was named to the 2017 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List for best wide receiver in the country.

EMU opens its season at home against Charlotte on Sept. 1.