Jaz Steps Up His Game

Wide receiver Jaz Reynolds only had 13 receptions for 256 yards last year, ranking seventh on the team, but he stepped up big time at the end of the year.

His defining moment was a 57-yard reception early in the fourth quarter against Texas Tech, and even though the game wasn't close, it was a major stepping stone for Reynolds.

"Yeah, it gave me a lot more confidence," Reynolds said. "It's not like I was down on myself, but that was a big game, even [for] my limitations for myself, just in practice and everything, just that one play, because there was a lot of stuff going on that one play. It was big momentum. I just couldn't put that in words."

Sometimes a play like that gives a player the confidence to fully complete the transition from high school to college, which many players say is very difficult to adapt to because of the distinction between the game speeds.

[It's] doing everything in one, just being able to read defenses on the run, just going fast at all times," Reynolds said. "So, you can't take any plays off, just going fast every play."

But that's something that came very natural for the 6-foot-2, 195 lb. speedster from Houston, who claims he's gained nearly 15 pounds since arriving on campus prior to his freshman year.

"Oh yeah, I got used to it pretty fast," Reynolds said. "It was the speed of everything because I already had the speed to do most of the stuff. But I'm catching on pretty fast, but the only thing I see I have to work on is my strength because that's the only thing I'd just say is my weakness."

Even after his long reception that showcased his abilities against Tech, perhaps something that even further solidified the role he will have in the future with the OU wide receiving core was his three reception, 36-yard outing in the Sun Bowl against Stanford.

Reynolds said it exemplified the urgency that wide receivers must play with.

"Just to keep my spot, I just got to work every day and just keep at it every day, don't let up just because you're a starter just on Monday," Reynolds said. "You could be a starter, have a bad day Tuesday, and that means your spot's taken. Somebody else worked harder that day."

And that's something he's carried into the offseason after being named a starter on the early depth chart.

"It just makes me work harder because I know they're guys behind me trying to get in my spot," Reynolds said. "And I don't really want them to come up behind me and take my spot, so I just work hard every day with the back of my mind knowing that if I slack up a little bit, somebody's going to take my spot."

With his attitude, work ethic, and continuing maturation at the college level, Reynolds figures to be an integral force for the 2010 receiving group.


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories