Reynolds served his mission in Hamburg, Germany, and said it was an incredible experience. Upon his return, the 6-foot-6-inch o-lineman found himself relatively light for a Reynolds boy, although he was in decent shape.
"I came home weighing 265 [pounds], which is about as light as Reynolds boys get," said a laughing Reynolds, whose father and older brothers have all logged time on BYU's offensive front. "Since I've been home I've hit the weights and I'm putting on about a pound a day, so I'm around 285 [pounds] now."
Hitting the weights came very early for Reynolds, as he gave himself little if any time to adjust back to working out with the football team. Having come home on a Thursday, Reynolds mentioned that he was in the coaches' office and workout facilities the following morning.
"I met with the team and with some of the coaches right away the following morning," said Reynolds. "I didn't start lifting right away since I probably wasn't ready, but come the following Monday, I was with the team lifting, running and doing everything else."
Having served a full two years, Reynolds was obviously behind the curve upon his return, much like every other returned missionary player. Although he was able to keep in decent shape through half-hour exercises he held true to throughout his mission, Reynolds had and still has a lot of work to make up.
"I'm obviously not as strong or as fit as I want to be in order to compete," said Reynolds. "It's coming though and I'm confident that I'll be ready to go come fall. The trick is to just not push myself too hard while consistently working out every day."
Reynolds's point of reference in regards to regaining his form, and even adding to that form post-mission, is about as good as it gets. Along with his father, who is an assistant coach in the program, is his older brother Dallas Reynolds, who recently fought the same battle coming off his mission. Add to that a host of other returned missionaries in the program, and Reynolds is in good hands as far as ready advice goes.
"Dallas is obviously helping me out a lot," said Reynolds. "He helps me out most in the weight room, making sure I push myself, but that I don't push myself too hard. He's always coming over and taking off more weight when I'm probably pushing a little too hard. I'm also talking a lot to Austin Collie, who just got back last year. He's helping me a lot."
Reynolds realizes that regaining his form won't come all at once, and that everyone has their own timetable for when they'll be at their best athletically.
"It didn't take long for Dallas," said Reynolds. "He started right away, but mentioned that he's still working his way back in some ways. Austin tells me he's still adjusting, although he feels that he's close. If I'm anywhere close come fall, I'll be happy. I just want to be able to compete and to contribute to the team."
Reynolds has also been able to sit down and get to know his new offensive line coach, Mark Weber. Reynolds immediately felt comfortable with Weber and has some early high praise for his position coach.
"[Coach Weber is] a smart guy who knows his stuff for sure," said Reynolds. "He told me that he's a teacher and is all about teaching his players and not screaming at them. He'd rather teach than yell, which I like. I know that the other offensive linemen like him a lot and I'm excited to learn from him in the coming years."
A lot has changed at BYU since Reynolds first reported to the Missionary Training Center two years ago. In those two years have come new coaches and a renewed standard of excellence, but most of all, a new attitude that is permeating from the Cougar football program.
"I fit right in from the first day," said Reynolds. "The attitude all the guys have is very positive and I felt at home immediately. I don't know the way it was before since I left for my mission right after high school, but it's great now. I'm excited to be part of the team."
Expectations run high for Reynolds, as he's consistently rated among one of the best offensive line recruits ever signed by BYU. So what does Reynolds expect from himself this coming season?
"I just want to help the team," said Reynolds. "I'd like to play obviously, but I'll do what is best for the team and what is best for my development. I'll play right away, redshirt or [do] whatever is best. All I can do is work as hard as possible and go from there."