Unrated by Scout and a three-star prospect by Rivals, Reynolds reports offers from the first four schools he mentioned: Stanford, North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State. He says Michigan and UCLA continue to evaluate him, as does Vanderbilt, who he says wants to see him on campus before they offer. Still, with Stanford either in the lead or not far behind, Reynolds' planned visits to the Farm are of paramount importance.
"I plan to take an official out there sometime after my football season," he said. "We play on Saturdays, so I wouldn't be able to get there until my season is over. Right now, I'm taking a bunch of unofficials to a bunch of East Coast schools.
"I was actually out at Stanford this summer though. I came to a Junior Day and a night camp sometime in June. That was the first time I'd ever been out there. It was beautiful and definitely made a great first impression, so I'm trying to make my way back out there."
Academically, Reynolds appears a strong candidate to play for the Cardinal, reporting a 4.18 weighted GPA and an SAT score in the high 1700s. For his part, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior is confident in his chances of getting accepted at Stanford should he choose to matriculate there.
"They haven't talked about retaking the SAT, but if I had to and had decided on Stanford, I would," Reynolds said. "I think they're fine. Just the way my school [Woodberry Forest School] works is very academically challenging and Stanford realizes that. Especially when Coach David Shaw came out and got to see our campus and talk to our head coach and Headmaster, he got a sense of how here we are definitely getting prepared for college in the classroom and athletically. I think they're pretty comfortable with my scores, my GPA and my school in general."
Reynolds is not leaving it all to chance though, as he reports he's presently hard at work on his Stanford application.
"They sent it out a while ago," he said. "I've just been cutting at it bit by bit. They know it doesn't have to be in by December, but they want me to hand in early."
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Reynolds exudes a similar calming confidence in his on-field abilities. His father, also Ed Reynolds (the teenaged Reynolds is technically Ed Reynolds, Jr.), played in the NFL for 11 years and worked in security for the league after his playing days, before recently taking a job with the new United Football League. The younger Reynolds says his father's career has had its influence, for it's made the Virginia high school star a more passionate football player.
"I've definitely always been around the game," Reynolds said. "I was born toward the end of my dad's career, but just being around it, being around him and growing up with game, it's something I've grown to love and I couldn't see myself not playing it."
Of course, growing up with football a second father has also made the younger Reynolds a better football player. Coupled with his size and speed, his football intelligence is what Reynolds believes initially attracted colleges.
"Safeties overall are getting bigger, but I'm a bigger safety at 6'3", 204 coming out of high school," Reynolds said. "Plus, I have knowledge of the game, being around it pretty much my whole life with my dad playing college and in the pros. I've just learned and learned from it and kind of take pride on never being out of place on a play, never overpursuing, just being the guy who makes the play.
"My leadership qualities also help me stand out. I was voted captain junior and senior year. Plus, there's my game speed. My 40 is a 4.51, 4.5, but I play faster just because I don't think as much. I just play instinctively and that separates me from other safeties."
Four colleges have indeed seen these standout qualities in Reynolds, each choosing to offer him a scholarship. However, of those four, Reynolds is ready to declare three tentative leaders.
"Stanford, North Carolina and Duke -- I think those three are at the top of my list," Reynolds said. "Then, that's not to say NC State is out of the running. I'm still interested and will take my official and will go through the evaluation with Michigan, Vanderbilt and UCLA. But as of right now, those are pretty much it."
At Stanford, Reynolds reports maintaining regular contact with wide receivers coach David Shaw.
"He calls me once per week and I'll try to call him once per week," Reynolds said. "So he'll call the day before the game to say ‘Good luck,' and see how everything's going, see how school and football are going. I also talk to Coach White, the DB coach, once in a while.
"I'm definitely watching to see how they're playing and see how their season goes. Stanford is looking good and playing really well. They started really fast but slowed, but Coach Harbaugh is doing the right things and building the program back up. I'm definitely watching. How teams do is not that big of an effect, but it is in the back of my mind."
Reynolds closed his interview with TheBootleg.com with some of the factors that will be forefront in his mind as he narrows down his college choices from three-plus to one in the upcoming months.
"There's the stability of the head coach, knowing he's committed and is going to be there," he said. "Definitely, the balance of the academic and athletic halves of the school is important. There's just the environment as a whole: that all the players and coaches are set on the same goal and supported by the student body. That's type of school I'm looking for."
Stay tuned as Reynolds tries to find that college in the upcoming months.
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