An education may still be on some college football players’ minds. Case in point: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, and now, BYU offensive tackle Matt Reynolds.
The 6-foot-6, 322 pound left tackle gave himself a few weeks before he made his decision, but in the end Reynolds decided to stay in school and play out his senior season.
Apparently, the lure of professional football wasn’t as strong as some thought.
The team captain and three-year starter was tabbed by many NFL Draft insiders as a first-to-second round pick. NFLDraftScout.com had Reynolds rated as high as third among all offensive tackles.
“I have decided to stay in school and not leave early for the NFL Draft. I feel that staying for another year is best for me and my family. I’m excited to be part of the team again next season and finish my college career with my teammates.” – Matt Reynolds Statement, Jan. 6, 2010
It will be interesting over the next few days to find out why Reynolds stayed at the school, especially when some thought he was a can’t miss pro. But, BYU’s decision to hire Brandon Doman as offensive coordinator reportedly had something to do with it.
Reynolds’ father Lance is also the team’s running backs coach, although he was “released” after the New Mexico Bowl, a move orchestrated by head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
And Reynolds is coming off a hand injury, so that may have hurt his draft stock.
Also, the Cougars’ weak 2011 schedule, its first as an independent, is littered with WAC teams, and so you have a recipe for a fantastic senior season.
Having a big final year could mean huge things for Reynolds, who goes into 2011 with even more promise than his past season, which saw him garner first-team All Mountain West Conference honors.
Reynolds was also a candidate for the Outland and Lombardi trophies in 2010, and you would have to consider him an early front-runner now that he’s announced he is staying at BYU.
“Matt is a tremendous football player and person. I fully support Matt in his decision to stay in school and finish out his eligibility. I look forward to his continued leadership in our program both on and off the field.” – BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall statement, Jan. 6, 2010
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie is the most recent Cougar who has had success at the next level after going pro early.
The most notable player in the state to declare early for the 2011 NFL Draft, as of press time, is Utah junior cornerback Brandon Burton.
In Reynolds’ case, it remains to be seen whether his decision to stay in school was a good football move, but on a personal note, it should certainly be applauded and emulated.