New SIU starting quarterback brings trick shot stardom to Carbondale


Senior quarterback Josh Straughan launches a pass during SIU’s fall football scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at Saluki Stadium in Carbondale. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

By Ted Ward

The key ingredients for a viral SIU football video are simple: Find a strong armed and accurate quarterback who has a creative brother, and a receiver to film it all.

That’s the recipe senior quarterback Josh Straughan and senior wideout Billy Reed, with his amateur filming skills, found this summer when they teamed up with Straughan’s brother, Jake Straughan, to show how in sync they really are.

Showing off their sporting abilities, the three posted trick shot videos to social media, some of which made it all the way to the likes of ESPN’s Snapchat Discover story. 


“My brother was my receiver in high school and he’d always make one handed catches,” Josh said. ”So we decided to play around with the idea and it eventually went big.”

The initial video was sent to Bleacher Report and in June was featured on ESPN’s Snapchat, which often exceeds one million views a day, according to the SportsBusiness Journal.

“Josh actually texted me and he was like ‘Dude, you gotta check out Snapchat it’s blowing up,’” Reed said. “And I looked at his Instagram and Twitter and he had thousands of followers, so he got pretty famous in one hour. It was crazy.” 

Straughan’s younger brother Jake, a sophomore basketball player at the University of Idaho, has always been the creative force behind the videos. Since the first video went viral, Jake has made multiple others in Idaho that have made their rounds on sports-based social media.

His most recent video was taken at Saluki Stadium.


For the older Straughan and Reed though, their bond goes beyond videos.

Straughan said Reed was a big part of his development into a starting quarterback.

“He was one of those guys that kinda showed me the ropes,” said Straughan, who was named as SIU football’s starting quarterback Wednesday afternoon. “Billy was a dude I threw to all summer since he was always out here and we work out together. Practicing together, we developed really good timing.

Reed recognized the bond right away and, with Straughan throwing to him, the Saluki offense could be poised for another big year after finishing fifth in the Football Championship Subdivision in total offense last season.

“He’s a big sports guy and we talk about sports all the time,” Reed said of Straughan. “And that bond has kinda translated over onto the field.”

Straughan and Reed will try to make some highlight plays of their own against Florida Atlantic at 5 p.m. Sept. 3 in Boca Raton, Fla.

Staff writer Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TedWard_DE.

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