Almost daily, NFL scouts appear at BYU practices to see Outland Trophy candidate Matt Reynolds. The star says his father's expectations for him and his brothers were for off-the-field behavior first.
"Really, the expectations he put on us were not physical and never had anything to do with sports," Matt said. "It was you as an individual. He expected nothing but honesty, nothing but integrity. He taught us those disciplines that coaches try to instill in players on the field, but did it off the field, and it translated back onto the field."
Lance Jr. served an LDS mission to Little Rock, Ark. Matt served in his father's mission in Seattle, Wash. The last two sons served as missionaries in Germany; Matt served in Munich and Houston in Frankfurt.
To go on missions and earn Eagle Scout awards were mileposts Lance and Leslie set for their sons, like most LDS parents. The Eagle projects had similar themes. Lance Jr. set out to organize a movement in his neighborhood to tighten down and secure water heaters in case of an earthquake. Matt gathered and donated new and used books for local shelters. Dallas collected toys for nurseries. Houston gathered essential toiletries for kits sent to poverty stricken areas of Africa.
Houston said he was never forced to get with the program, but he felt the pressure of his parents through their expectations and his brothers set an example hard to stray from.
"My father taught me to be true to the beliefs that I have and be loyal to the things I care about, whether it's been friends, family, the church, a belief system or qualities I want to possess,” Houston said.
"My biggest fear has been to disappoint my father,” he said. “Not that he would be mad or come after me, or anything like that; it would be the disappointment. As I've grown up and watched my dad live his life, I realized that if I could say at the end of my life that I've become like him and done a good job, I'd pass my test so to speak . And that is the motivation; that is the expectation we hold ourselves to as a family, that at the end of the day, to say we were like our father was."
Houston said when it came time to decide to serve his church for two years full time, he balked, pulled back, waited. As inquiries continued to come his way, he kept pulling back.
"When the time came for me to serve, I kind of beat around the bush,” he said. “The fact that I pulled back and thought if this was something I wanted to do for myself, shows that there was pressure. I saw all the plaques of all my brothers that went on missions honorably and worked hard and had been successful. At the end of the day I wanted to follow that legacy and be part of it and do something they had done and follow suit.”
To be a son of Lance Reynolds means loyalty.
"Without question, something he demonstrates throughout his life," Houston said. "When it's that gray area or when you aren't sure if sticking up for your friend was the right thing to do, my father is the example of loyalty. He's stayed with BYU because he believes in BYU and what it stands for. There have been some hard times as there will be in anything in life, but he's stuck to it because of his beliefs and his loyalty."
In his playing days, Lance Reynolds was one of the first to make it popular as a BYU football player to serve an LDS mission. A few months later, seven on the squad followed him. Those considered stars who did serve, were a minority.
Any father would want his sons to see the best in him and forgive the flaws. In this regard his sons swear their fealty with pride. They've watched their father endure situations with changes at BYU with loyalty and a dutiful attitude of allegiance to an ideal.
"I see it as legendary," Matt said. "He's had such a long career, three decades with the same team. If you start a list of names of people who have come and gone since he's been here, the friendships and associations he's made are really impressive. His love for the game and his love for the school is surpassed by nobody. He is just totally dedicated to BYU and BYU football."
Reynolds. Steadfastness. Brave Councilor.
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