A popular series from last draft cycle is returning yet again at Stampede Blue. Last off-season, I interviewed over 40 prospects that could eventually be fits for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2019 NFL Draft. As a result, we were able to find out a lot about two Colts who went on to eventually be drafted by the team in Marvell Tell II and Khari Willis. This year I hope to interview even more prospects so you all can get an inside look at these player’s accomplishments and mindsets going into this next draft.
Our first prospect is center Bobby Reynolds from University of Louisiana Monroe. A former rugby player and wrestler in high school, Reynolds has brought that mean mentality to the center position for ULM. He is a strong yet mobile player who has been the leader on that line for the past few seasons. We had an excellent talk below about his responsibilities as the center for his team, the relationship between himself and his quarterback, and what he could bring to an NFL team.
6’2” 286 pounds
All-Sun Belt Second Team (2019)
All-Sun Belt Third Team (2018)
Remington Watch List (Preseason 2019)
Fit with the Colts:
Colts could definitely use a back-up center this off-season to battle it out with Javon Patterson for depth along the offensive line. Reynolds is a physical player who fits the Colts mold of athletes along the offensive line. He has the look and feel of a player who can be a solid contributor in the NFL. Getting him a bit bigger in an NFL weight program and he could be a very solid backup lineman in the NFL.
ZH: How did you end at University of Louisiana Monroe out of high school?
BR: They were actually my only offer out of high school. I always told myself that I would go play for the first team that offered me and they ended up actually being the only one so that’s how it happened. It was just a great opportunity for me.
ZH: I saw that you have a rugby and wrestling background. How does that help you play center in football?
BR: You get natural leverage from wrestling and rugby really got me in shape because it is a lot of running. Wrestling really helped me with leverage and being really physically strong in the weight room and helped me get ready for college football in that way. A lot of offensive line play comes from leverage so having that wrestling background really helps.
ZH: What area do you think that you’ve grown the most in throughout your four years of college?
BR: I think just my overall knowledge of the game. I played defensive line my whole life until my Senior year of high school when I played left tackle and defense. So it was a big adjustment for me to learn how to call out blitzes and Mikes and stuff. I ended up learning way more than I ever thought I would know when it came to football. I’ve had three different offensive line coaches in my time here and getting those different perspectives has really helped me out a lot. All those different hours with different guys has helped. Just knowing where to go and learning how to play faster and harder has helped me.
ZH: What was your relationship like with your quarterback at ULM on and off the field?
BR: Caleb (Evans), he and I developed a close relationship when we were both fighting to get that starting spot. His freshman year and my redshirt year, I was trying to get that overall starting spot and me and him developed a good relationship by just pushing each other in the off-season and mid-season. If I was down, he would pick me up and vice versa. We just developed in a way that I didn’t think would really happen but it just happened naturally. We really understood each other and knew what was going on.
ZH: In your opinion, what do you think is the most important trait for a center to possess?
BR: I think just knowing what to do each play, honestly. Just having that knowledge of your assignment each play. Once you know what you have to do on a given play, that is when you can play as fast and as hard as possible. You can be an athlete and a good player but when you know what to do out there with your studying off field, that’s when you can really use your skills to be successful.
ZH: ULM’s website has you cited with quite a few knockdowns in your career (which is an awesome statistic), how important for you is it to drive defenders into the ground and finish?
BR: You know, I played defense my whole life. I loved making tackles and hearing someone say my name. At offensive line, you don’t really get recognition like that. That is okay with me but finishing guys is my one way to get recognition and hear my name. You know by putting somebody on their back. So, I really started it my Senior year (in high school). My left tackle from high school, who went to LSU, me and him sort of had a competition to see who could get the most knockdowns and it just made the game so much more fun. So it just became a part of my game and I try to be a really physical player.
ZH: In your college career, who would you say was the toughest defensive tackle you had to block?
BR: That’s tough... probably one of the SEC guys. I’d have to say Daylon Mack from A&M. He was like moving a brick wall. He’s like 6’3” 330 or whatever and he gets off the ball faster than anyone I’ve ever seen. Almost beats defensive ends or anybody off the line. As soon as we’d get the snap down he was already across the line. He was a very tough match-up with that size and get off.
ZH: Which NFL player do you look up to the most or study the most to learn from their game?
BR: Jason Kelce. That is always the guy I’d compare myself to. He’s got more athleticism than me and probably has more knowledge of the game than me since he’s been doing it so long but we are pretty similar. Same height, same weight and he wins with his size due to being so athletic. I just try to learn as much as I can from watching him to see how to succeed with that size and weight in the NFL.
ZH: What is my NFL team getting if they draft Bobby Reynolds in this class?
BR: Passion. I’ve loved football since I was five years old and I’ve always felt like I’d be the hardest worker in the room due to my passion for the game. I was think that even if someone is in front of me, I just have to work harder than them to get that spot. I know that if I’m not starting somewhere, I want to have the opportunity to outwork the person ahead of me to eventually be that starter. I’ll always be one of the hardest workers and I’m always doing great things off the field and in the weight room.