Dick Harmon: BYU football: Last in long line of Reynolds is coming through Cougars' program

Published: Monday, Aug. 6 2012 7:45 p.m. MDT

Assistant Head Coach/Tight ends coach Lance Reynolds stands with two of his sons Matt,left, and Houston after BYU football practice Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

PROVO — He's the last of the Reynolds.

Houston Reynolds is the caboose in a train of brothers and a father who made careers playing on the offensive line at BYU.

This Reynolds, a junior, is slated to play center and guard and is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason. In fall camp so far, Houston Reynolds has battled some sore shins but is expected to don pads and get after it this week.

If you think about it, it's pretty unusual to play major college football, have a shot at a pro career, become a professional coach and then have one son after another not only play college football, but start and play major roles.

That's what's transpired with BYU assistant head coach Lance Reynolds and his progeny.

His oldest son, Lance Jr., started as a center during the John Beck era. In an unfortunate twist of paperwork, he did not get an extra year of eligibility due to an injury and never played his senior season as Beck's center. He now works for Zion's Bank near University Mall.

His second son, Dallas Reynolds, who started almost his entire BYU career, is back with the Philadelphia Eagles this fall and is in his fourth year in the NFL. He is currently running with the second team on the Eagles' offensive line, sometimes getting a shot with the first team.

The third son, Matt Reynolds, signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers after not getting drafted this past spring. According to his father, he's going through a typical rookie camp, not knowing what to expect, although he has seen time with the first and second team.

Matt Reynolds had a chance to put his name in for the NFL draft after his junior year but decided to return as a senior. He was very disappointed on draft day when nobody called his name.

"We talked about the possibility of that happening in the days leading up to the draft," said coach Reynolds. "So we were prepared, if that happened, but it was still a very long and painful day for Matt (Reynolds). He was very disappointed.

"You see it every year, somebody sitting by the phone on draft day and the call doesn't come. What happens, happens and you have no control over it, so you can't worry about it. You have to make it anyway, whether you are drafted or not."

Getting drafted is about respect and realizing what people think of you. "But in the end, you have to put the lid on the garbage can and forget about it and go out and play," said the father.

With Houston Reynolds, BYU's offensive line has another in a group of well-trained, smart players who understands the game and what it takes to play at a major college level.

Houston Reynolds is 6-foot-2, 296 pounds, and although he underwent shoulder surgery this winter, he has regularly benched 400 pounds with that shoulder this summer.

"If we can just keep that dude healthy, he's a good player. He's explosive, really powerful and a real stout guy, but he's had some injury problems and we're hoping he can get over that and get on," said his dad, Lance. "If that happens, he'll be a good player. He started the bulk of the season before he hurt his shoulder last season."

Like his brothers before him, he's a gentleman, a respected teammate and a very coachable player. And like all of them, he's humble.

He wears the Reynolds' brand very well.

The father is in his 29th year coaching at BYU, his 33rd year in the profession if you count Snow College. He sees this year's Cougar team as a group made of talent and experience.

"We need a few more stand-up, grit-your-teeth, nothing-stands-in-your-way type guys to step forward," Lance Reynolds said. "When they get tired, we'll see who stands up and who fades, but right now they are experienced, older guys and we have a returning quarterback, which is always great news."

In the group he coaches, Reynolds has Devin Mahina out with a broken arm, but the rest of his tight ends are healthy. "We are certainly a mile ahead of where we were a year ago. We started in a bad place, then had a lot of injuries."

Reynolds said the Cougars have healthy and experienced backs, wideouts, linemen and tight ends — and that wasn't the case a year ago.

"We've got to make it to the dance with everybody there, and then we might have a chance to be pretty good," said coach Reynolds.

email: dharmon@desnews.com twitter: harmonwrites

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