Football Standouts Receive Training From Olympian

Up in Akron, a few of Ohio's very best football prospects are fortunate enough to be able to learn how to improve their skills from one of the state's all-time great athletes in Olympic champion Butch Reynolds. Bill Greene recently stopped by a workout session and found that blue-chip prospects such as Chris Wells and Devon Torrence are doing anything but taking it easy in the offseason. Click the link for more.

Butch Reynolds is a former Olympic champion and Ohio State track legend. Today, Reynolds is employed by the Akron City schools, teaching life skills to youngsters in an after school program. In the evening, Reynolds can be found training some of the top football players in Ohio. Chris Wells of Akron Garfield and J'Keem Waters and brothers Devon and Devoe Torrence of Canton South are a few of the athletes working out under Reynolds' direction.

If you are a high school athlete looking for a workout guru, look no further than Butch Reynolds. While Reynolds does a great job in his current capacity, make no mistake about it -- this man should be a track coach at the college level. His workout program is both demanding and rewarding.

"We work on the mind as well as the body," said Reynolds. "They need to know what it takes to compete at the highest level physically and mentally. I want them to know they cannot take plays off. We're here to work, not fool around. This isn't fun and games."

Chris Wells is Reynolds' star pupil. Wells, an Ohio State commit, is the top rated player in Ohio according to Ohio High magazine. Reynolds has been training Wells for over a year with impressive results.

"Chris has lowered his forty time dramatically since we've been working together. Last December, I timed him at a 4.43 and a 4.45," said Reynolds. "In another week, we'll be working outside and I expect Chris' time to be even faster. We'll be filming the players as they run so I can show them what to do, as well as teach them."

The Canton South trio of Waters and both Torrence brothers are also benefiting from Reynolds' experience. Devon Torrence is considered the top sophomore football in Ohio by Duane Long of Ohio High magazine. Freshman brother Devoe is ranked as one of the top freshmen in the state, while Waters is regarded as the top fullback prospect in the sophomore class. Another top sophomore prospect, Andrew Dailey of Massillon, has also been tutored by Reynolds. In the next few weeks Brian and Mike Hartline of Canton GlenOak will be participating in Reynolds' program.

Chris Wells and Devon Torrence

After the workout ended, Chris Wells took some time to discuss what's been going on in his life since he committed to Ohio State. When asked about his trip to Michigan to watch their spring game, Wells laughed and said he knew some people were surprised he went.

"I took a lot of grief for going, but it was no big deal," said Wells. "It was the only game that day and my dad and I wanted to see some football. There was nothing to it. I'm 100 percent committed to Ohio State."

Chris also addressed his goals for next season and beyond. He is looking ahead to playing for Jim Tressel at Ohio State.

"I'm hoping to help OSU have the top recruiting class in the country," said Wells. "I've talked a lot to Aaron Brown, Ray Small and Robert Rose about becoming Buckeyes. I'm going to be talking to some other guys real soon too. I met with my guidance counselor today to check into graduating early and enrolling at Ohio State in January. I have a 2.9 grade point average and got a 17 on the ACT test. I'm retaking it again in June. Right now, I'm working on getting faster. I'm 6' 2" and 230 pounds. I want to play at 225 pounds."

Devon Torrence is also one of the best baseball players in Ohio. Torrence, now up to 187 pounds, runs track when baseball doesn't conflict and is the leading hitter in Stark County with a .675 batting average and 5 home runs. When asked about his future plans, the 15-year old was quite direct in his answer.

"I want to play football at Ohio State. They had me down to a game last year and that's where I want to go. Coach Bollman told me I could end up being a running back, wide receiver or defensive back at OSU. It doesn't matter to me. I just want to play," said Torrence.

Waters has been compared to former Buckeye Jamar Martin and also expressed a fondness for Ohio State. Devoe Torrence, 6' 1" 200 pounds, saw limited varsity action his freshman season, but should be a starter at linebacker for the Wildcats in 2005.

All of these players praised Butch Reynolds for helping them become better athletes. After watching Reynolds put them through their workout, it's easy to recommend Butch Reynolds to any athlete within driving distance of Akron. He is clearly making a difference in their careers.

Wells working hard

Wells getting ready to run

The crew stretches out

Reynolds and Devoe Torrence

Reynolds and his son Will


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