DeAngelo Reynolds (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) is one of the top individual story lines heading into the fall campaign. In fact, Saturday's Kickoff Classic against Miami Booker T. Washington will be his first ever organized football game. Still this 6-foot-6 and 250-pound defensive end prospect already holds eight scholarship offers.
"Things are going really, really well," Reynolds said. "This is so exciting and it's all so new to me. I have to really try and fight through all the emotions. Each and every practice I am picking up something new. It's been an amazing run."
Yes it has. Reynolds has always been a basketball star. In fact, last season playing small forward he averaged 27.8 points per game. That was for Monsignor Pace High School.
"I had a great basketball season last year," Reynolds said. "Hoops is really where my heart is and I will never give it up. But I transferred to Northwestern and came out for football. There were two big reasons why.
"First, it's just the football tradition of playing at Northwestern. It's huge. Second, I want to help them win a state title. There is nothing better than winning a ring.
"I am loving playing football. It's been a great experience."
Reynolds was allowed to practice in the spring but he couldn't participate in their spring game because of transfer rules. Still, he has learned a lot and come such a long way in a short time.
"The hardest thing for me is the contact," Reynolds said. "It's just that football and basketball are two completely different sports, two different things. Now I get to dish it out but I also have to take it. While I have learned a lot, my strengths are still my size. I am very long. And I have great speed off the ball."
Reynolds has a huge frame and long arms. In fact, at Florida State's camp in June, Reynolds had a vertical jump of 40-inches that wowed the Seminole coaching staff.
"They thought that was amazing," Reynolds said. "And they showed a lot of love about it."
Now Reynolds hopes to amaze his opponents and impress the college coaches. At least that's his plan.
"It's my first season playing," Reynolds said. "I have to get off to a fast start. I am planning on showing people that I can play this game. I am just not out there to have fun. I am working hard and putting in the effort."
Tennessee State was the first to offer Reynolds back in the spring. To this day Reynolds is still stunned.
"I was getting out of practice and my coach gave me the news," Reynolds said. "It's such a blessing to think I will get a free education and get to play."
Since that first offer teams like FSU, UCF, South Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and N.C. State have all offered as well. He also camped at FSU and saw teams like Ohio State, FIU, Clemson and Duke.
"I am just open and want to see how this plays out," Reynolds said. "I really want to play both sports in college. I have been a lifelong basketball guy and will always be. I love the game and schools have said I can play both. I just can't give up my hoops."