Ryan Reynolds is ecstatic to have the chance to go through a complete fall camp with his health at a premium.
"This is the first camp I have felt 100 percent since my freshman year, and I am just trying to take advantage of it," Reynolds explained. "Do all of the extra things I can do, to be the best player that I can be."
"The enthusiasm is there (it is) a lot better than being able to just stand there and watch the other people take a rep. Now I am understanding the defense – what everyone does – a lot more being out there, than even just watching it or just being able to draw it up on paper."
Reynolds was recruited out of high school as a "Will" backer, but he feels much more comfortable playing in the middle of the Oklahoma defense, eventhough he had no idea that he was a better fit at the "Mike".
"I didn't until I made this move, and it feels a lot more natural for me, being more involved in the run fit and not having to cover speed as much," Reynolds said. "Since I have been here it feels like a much more natural position for me to play."
"It is a lot easier relating to coverage. I don't have to carry a wide receiver vertical, or really a tight end too much vertical."
On Tuesday Austin Box underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee, and while Reynolds admits that Box's loss is a big one, but he is now starting to build a connection with Box's apparent replacement, Mike Balogun.
"Everybody is playing the same positions," Reynolds confirmed. "Mike (Balogun) and Austin (Box) were both rotating at "Will" quite a bit."
"Yeah, it is a hard loss losing Austin. He was just coming in to his own and we were really building some good chemistry being out there together. Now with Mike it is the same thing. We are starting to build on that and getting the defense perfect."
Reynolds believes that while the defensive unit is still coming together, they do indeed have a wealth of potential to be one of the very best units in the Big 12.
"We have a lot of potential," Reynolds began. "We are building upon ourselves everyday, and I wouldn't say I am concerned. We have two weeks to our first game and we have a long way to go, a lot of preparation, and a lot of still learning the defense and getting everything perfect, but we have a lot of potential."