HE CAME TO Oregon State's camp all the way from North Carolina and without a Beaver offer. He had one day to make his mark, and did so with a bang. CB Jeremy Reynolds earn that OSU offer, and then became a future Beav. But what's the connection with a prospect from the Tar Heel state and OSU? What was it about his camp performance that stood out? Answers to those questions and much more this way..
Usually there's some kind of hard and fast connection when Oregon State ventures outside their usual recruiting stomping grounds to bring a guy like Reynolds (5-9, 170) -- out of Greensboro, North Carolina -- into the Beaver fold. An assistant who has some great ties to coaches in the area, a heads up from a football notable to the Beaver staff, etc.
Reynolds, who will lock down one of the islands at Oak Ridge Military Academy this season, seems to have forged the connection all on his own.
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"It was more like I came up to camp and we connected then. I liked them and they liked me. They hadn't been by during the (May Evaluation period) but I told my dad before I went there that if I went out there and they made an offer, that I was going to commit," said Reynolds.
But how does OSU stand out to a prep prospect clear across the country -- 2,883 miles away to be exact?
"I had done some previous research on the university," said Reynolds. "And when I got to camp it was just like, wow, this campus is amazing. I keep a close watch on college football and college basketball. I don't really like the NFL as much as I do college. And Oregon State was voted the No. 1 family-oriented football program.
"On top of that, they like the smaller (defensive backs) at corner like me -- they play a scheme of bump and run, and I'm a physical corner. It all just really fit me...The coaches were as down to earth and as cool as can be. That, and the family environment, made me feel as if I was at home."
REYNOLDS CHOSE OSU over a number of other offers and interest.
"I had offers from Cal, East Carolina, N.C. State, New Mexico State and Towson," said Reynolds, who mentioned Michigan and East Carolina as showing increasing interest.
A BIG BONUS for OSU also comes with Reynolds -- he's set to graduate from high school early. That means he would arrive at OSU in January of next year, go through spring ball and be able immerse himself in the Beaver program months ahead of fall camp.
"I honestly only need one more class to graduate high school," said Reynolds.
REYNOLDS SAID the Beavs liked his fluidity, ("They said I keep my hips on a swivel and that they liked my backpedal,") but beyond any technical aspects, it was how well Reynolds executed instruction into action that gained him the OSU offer.
"The one thing they liked about me, they said my talent was great -- there were things I didn't do as well as they would like. But when they told me about them, they said I snapped into it, picked up on it and (executed) exactly like they wanted me to do," said Reynolds.
REYNOLDS WAS NAMED METRO 4-A all conference this past season, and was among the nine North Carolina players invited to this past January's U.S. Army National Combine for football underclassmen.
Official junior season stats were unavailable at press time but Reynolds estimated them to be 52 tackles, six forced fumbles and two interceptions. And he may be 5-foot-9 but speed plays a big part in his game.
"I ran a 4.4 flat at Duke," said Reynolds.
And now he’s running to Corvallis. And he’ll arrive there early.