Dick Harmon: Loyalty: It is in the blood of the Reynolds clan

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 17 2011 8:00 p.m. MDT

Senior Offensive Lineman Matt Reynolds signs a helmet during an autograph session at the Cougar Kickoff held on Hawes Field on the campus of Brigham Young University on Tuesday August 16, 2011.

Jaren Wilkey, BYU

What is expected of a son of Lance Reynolds?

We've seen Lance and Dallas. We're about to see the last of All-American tackle Matt who decided not to leave BYU early for the NFL and will play his senior season. The youngest, offensive guard Houston, fights for a spot this fall to continue the legacy of his family name in Provo.

Line up Lance Reynolds' sons and each has a unique reflection of his father. The smile, the unique facial features, the big shoulders and thick chest, the way of talking; it’s a remarkable play on a strand or two of solid DNA.

The name Reynolds evolved from the Norman given name Reginald or Regenweald, an alteration of the French Reinold. It means Brave Councilor.

Lance Reynolds is BYU football, the lone standing flesh and blood remnant of the LaVell Edwards regime. Now associate head coach for the Cougars, Reynolds has stood steadfast as BYU has made two head coaching changes since Edwards retired in 2000. A legion of former Cougars have put forth Lance Reynolds' name to be BYU's head coach, but decision makers chose to give the reins to Gary Crowton and Bronco Mendenhall.

In a decade of changes, Lance Reynolds has stood faithful in his charge to coach at BYU. And he's put sons in BYU uniforms like a Ford assembly line.

Lance Reynolds’ loyalty is legendary and athletes who've been coached by him swear a lifelong love of the man for his character, honor and sincerity.

So, what is expected of a son of Lance Reynolds?

Well, they have all become Eagle Scouts. They have all served honorable LDS missions. None of them has ever quit as a football player, regardless of what has been asked.

His namesake, Lance Jr., was asked to switch from linebacker to center in the twilight of his career and he fed the ball to John Beck, who will start this Friday for the Washington Redskins. Junior made the switch and became very proficient, albeit undersized for a center.

"Lance was my roommate for every game my sophomore and junior years," remembers Beck. "We will meet up with him and his wife whenever we come to Provo. I always felt I had a very reliable person blocking right in front of me. I liked being around Lance because he was very serious on the field but very easygoing and a jokester off the field who made me laugh."

Beck said Lance Jr. was passionate about BYU football and winning games – it mattered deeply.

"BYU is what he grew up around as a coach’s son," Beck said. "He would always shares stories his dad had told him about players or games. It was always cool to hear them from that perspective.

"I trust Lance off the field the same way I trusted him on the field."

The father sees all his sons as good men. He never had any trouble with any of them, although his namesake was a little harder to handle.

"He wasn't bad, just had a little zip in his tailgate," said Lance, the senior. "They have different personalities but they are great kids."

How many fathers can say they've had four sons play major college football? How many fathers can say they were in the team room preparing for games with them?

Lance Reynolds never pushed his sons to play. None picked up the game until sixth grade. When they played as seventh graders, his wife Leslie didn't like it. He never thought any of his sons would grow big in stature because in his own home growing up, he was the anomaly, the only huge guy.

"People have the feeling there was this expectation from a football standpoint," said the father. "But the only thing I ever told them was if you’re going to do football, do it. If you’re not, it's OK. But it was their decision."

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