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B y S P E N C E R N G A T U V A I

The crack of helmets echo


throughout the practice eld
as the shouts of nearby coach-
es rise above the frustrated
grunts of members on the of-
fensive line.
With spring football well un-
der way, BYU has had to make
adjustments to its offensive
line. Various starters from
last years line have taken to
the sidelines nursing injuries
causing openings for some new
faces to take the reigns during
spring ball. A few of these play-
ers include Manaaki Vaitai,
Corbin Kaufusi and Michael
Yeck.
I think the young guys are
learning a lot, said Yeck, a
sophomore from Keller, Texas.
Even though those that are in-
jured will probably be the ones
starting this fall, the younger
guys are taking all the advan-
tage of those reps. The oppor-
tunity we have now will build
a strong line in the future but
also a deep one for next year.
Offensive line coach Mark
Weber seems to be handling the
situation well.
Coach Weber is not holding
the younger guys to any less of
a standard than he would the
older guys, Yeck said. It is
tough for the young guys, we
have been thrown into the deep
end, but we have to adapt and
learn how to play at that high
level.
Yeck feels hopeful in the up-
coming season.
Its going to be awesome,
Yeck said. We have a power-
ful offensive line and powerful
offense. Our defense is doing
well, and we look forward to a
great season.
Houston Reynolds, a starting
offensive lineman from Provo
and one of the starting linemen
recently coming back from
shoulder surgery, is optimistic
about the younger players being
able to step up in spring ball.
I think they are doing a
great job, Reynolds said.
With experience there is a
certain amount of consistency
that happens, no matter what
gets thrown at you, you have
seen something like it. With
the younger guys its hard,
every day they are learning
something new and its a very
difcult learning curve for the
younger guys. I feel overall,
if you take their growth and
what they have accomplished
they are learning. Its a process
and they are denitely coming
along.
At the end of Tuesdays
spring practice, the defense was
getting into the backeld a lot
when running the blitz. Coach
Bronco Mendenhall attributes
this to the inexperience of his
younger offensive line.
We have a lot of our starters
that are still hurt, Mendenhall
said. We have a young offen-
sive line, but I also feel that we
have strong athletic players
that are able to get into the back
eld.
The team seems confident
in the younger offensive play-
ers and are impressed with the
way they have really stepped it
up and proven themselves.
I think that as a unite we
are doing a great job, Reyn-
olds said. Everybody is work-
ing hard, and its something
our offensive line should be
proud of.
Young offensive line gains
experience during spring ball
B y S P E N C E R N G A T U V A I
There is an air of humility
and admiration in the voice of
offensive lineman Matt Reyn-
olds as he expresses his appre-
ciation for BYU and the chance
to live his dream, which came
a step closer to fruition with
the recently concluded NFL
Combine.
Reynolds was one of the top
linemen in the nation during
his college career, at one time
ranked the 24th-best college
player inthecountry, according
to Rivals.com. Reynolds attri-
butes most of his success to his
family and the many dedicated
staff of BYUfootball.
My family was really sup-
portiveof everything,Reynolds
said. Theydenitelymadesure
I knew what to expect and how
to be successful, always trying
to make sure I was in a position
to where I could succeed.
Reynolds father, LanceReyn-
olds, hasbeenanassistant coach
for BYU football for more than
30 years, and has been a source
of motivation for Matt through-
out his life.
Its been great being able to
have someone else to go to, and
lean on, Matt Reynolds said.
Tobeabletoseeadifferent per-
spective really helped me out,
and helped me form who I was
going to become as a player. He
[Lance Reynolds] played in the
NFL, and I knew it was some-
thing I wanted to do.
One of Reynolds greatest mo-
ments at BYU came during the
nal game of his senior season.
I would have to say it was
my last game against Tulsa,
Reynolds said. I had my hel-
met knocked off, and I was able
to make a block for Riley [Nel-
son] that led to a touchdown. It
is something that I am really
proud of.
When trying to reflect on
what he is most proud of, he ad-
mitted it was probably starting
all 52 games of his collegiate ca-
reer. Reynolds shares this title
with only one other player, Jan
Jorgensen, a defensive lineman
who played from2005-09.
ReynoldsmovedtoCalifornia
in January to train for the NFL
combine. While there, he was
abletoworkout withsomeother
superior athletes.
In my months of prepara-
tion, I was able to train with
guys like Andrew Luck, Chris
Polk and LaMichael James,
Reynolds said. That was one
of the more fun things about
my whole experience, getting to
know other guys froma bunch
of different schools, all trying to
get to the next level.
Reynolds seemed surpris-
ingly calm as he discussed his
feelings the night before the
combine.
Mostly I just ref lected on
my career, Reynolds said.
Thinking about the road I
took to get there, and how its
been my dream to make it to
the NFL combine. I did a lot
of ref lecting and wondering
about what is to come.
The NFL combine is no
vacation for most players.
Reynolds group was up at 5
a.m. getting ready for the day.
Anything from strength train-
ing to doctor physicals happen
in the morning, with the big
events starting in the early af-
ternoon. Reynolds group took
to the bench presses at 2 p.m.
He was able to get in 25 reps
with an overall grade at the
combine of a 64.
The atmosphere in the ac-
tual combine is prettyfriendly,
Reynolds said. Even though
we are technically competing
against each other, were really
competing against ourselves,
trying to perform the best we
can.
Every step of the way, Reyn-
olds is making decisions that
not onlyaffect him, but also his
family. Reynolds has beenmar-
ried since his sophomore year
at BYU, and looks to his wife as
a support system to their suc-
cess. He describes their family
dynamic as more of a group ef-
fort than anything else.
Reynolds wife, Brianna, has
beenwithMatt everystepof the
way. She has learned by nowto
expect the unexpected.
It has been a long time
coming working toward the
NFL, it has always been our
goal, she said. Now that we
are here, its kind of crazy and
exciting. We could be moving
anywhere in the country, and
there really is no way to pre-
pare for it.
She knows the road to the
NFLwill bestressful, especially
whenit comes to moving to new
places.
Being born and raised in
Utah and coming out to Califor-
nia has beenpretty different for
us, Brianna Reynolds said. It
has been an eye-opening expe-
rience for me. We knowwe just
have to make sure we stay true
toourvaluesandhaveagoodre-
lationship witheachother.
The Reynolds next step will
be the NFL draft, which begins
April 26.
Reynolds reflects on BYU, NFL Combine
I feel overall if you take
their growth and what
they have accomplished,
they are learning. Its
a process and they are
denitely coming along.
Houston Reynolds
Starting offensive lineman
Photo by Luke Hansen
Photo by Chris Bunker
Offensive lineman Matt
Reynolds recently attended the
NFL Combine in California.
8 The Daily Universe, Thursday, March 15, 2012
internship showcase
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2012
Come get dessert
and explore the opportunities:
Friday, March 16
9 am1 pm
WSC Ballroom
See displays of recent BYU interns
and vote for your favorite display to
receive the Peoples Choice Award
by 12:00 pm.
For more information about internships, contact your
department internship coordinator, call the Internship
O|0ce [422-3337} or v|s|t soos.byu.eduJ|ntern.
888.967.5279
Join our inside sales team. You'll
earn a base salary plus commission
and receive full benets, including:
Paid time off
401k plan
Health insurance
Free health clinic
On-site gym
Free lunch
vivintjobs.com
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