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8 The Daily Universe, Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reynolds reflects on BYU, nfL Combine

There is an air of humility and admiration in the voice of offensive lineman Matt Reynolds as he expresses his appreciation 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 in the country, according to Reynolds attributes most of his success to his family and the many dedicated staff of BYU football. My family was really supportive of everything, Reynolds said. They denitely made sure 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, Lance Reynolds, has been an assistant coach for BYU football for more than 30 years, and has been a source of motivation for Matt throughout his life. Its been great being able to have someone else to go to, and lean on, Matt Reynolds said. To be able to see a different perspective 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 something I wanted to do. One of Reynolds greatest moments 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 helmet knocked off, and I was able to make a block for Riley [Nelson] 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 admitted it was probably starting all 52 games of his collegiate career. Reynolds shares this title with only one other player, Jan 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 training to doctor physicals happen in the morning, with the big events starting in the early afternoon. 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 actual combine is pretty friendly, 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, Reynolds is making decisions that not only affect him, but also his family. Reynolds has been married since his sophomore year at BYU, and looks to his wife as a support system to their success. He describes their family dynamic as more of a group effort than anything else. Reynolds wife, Brianna, has been with Matt every step of the way. She has learned by now to 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 prepare for it. She knows the road to the NFL will be stressful, especially when it comes to moving to new places. Being born and raised in Utah and coming out to California has been pretty different for us, Brianna Reynolds said. It has been an eye-opening experience for me. We know we just have to make sure we stay true to our values and have a good relationship with each other. The Reynolds next step will be the NFL draft, which begins April 26.

Young offensive line gains experience during spring ball

The crack of helmets echo throughout the practice eld as the shouts of nearby coaches rise above the frustrated grunts of members on the offensive line. With spring football well under 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 players 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 injured will probably be the ones starting this fall, the younger guys are taking all the advantage of those reps. The opportunity 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 upcoming season. Its going to be awesome, Yeck said. We have a powerful 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.

feel overall if you take their growth and what they have accomplished, they are learning. Its a process and they are denitely coming along.
Starting offensive lineman

Houston Reynolds

Photo by Chris Bunker

Offensive lineman Matt Reynolds recently attended the NFL Combine in California.
Jorgensen, a defensive lineman who played from 2005-09. Reynolds moved to California in January to train for the NFL combine. While there, he was able to work out with some other superior athletes. In my months of preparation, 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 from a bunch of different schools, all trying to get to the next level.

Photo by Luke Hansen

Reynolds seemed surprisingly 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

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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 de nitely 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 offensive 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 players 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, Reynolds said. Everybody is working hard, and its something our offensive line should be proud of.


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