Just kicking it: Southeast kicker Reynolds contributes to new OVC success
Southeast football’s freshman kicker Jake Reynolds is a big part of the team’s success as they start the second half of the season finishing with Ohio Valley Conference games.
Reynolds is averaging 45.86 yards per kick for the last five games, and he launched a booming 78-yard kick in the win against Tennessee Tech last week for homecoming. His kicks have been garnering attention, and he recently was named OVC Specialist of the Week.
“It feels great to contribute on special teams in the game and having an impact to help my teammates out in any way possible is big,” Reynolds said. “We view punting as a very important play. The fact that I can contribute and help this team is everything. I try to keep my mind clear being a specialist on the team and keep a laid-back attitude about it while having fun.”
Southeast defense played great during the last game and special teams played a big part in that win.
“My contributions to the team helps to set up up good field position for the defense and the plays they make. If you can pin the other team inside the 20-yard line that’s huge,” Reynolds said. “I don’t think about a lot when I have to punt, it’s all muscle memory for me to just relax, sit back and punt the ball like I’ve been doing my whole life.”
Reynolds has played football since the fifth grade and his coach told him he already had a kicker but started kicking in the sixth grade. Reynolds has played mostly soccer since he was a kid.
“I played in the junior program for Lafayette High School in St. Louis,” Reynolds said. “The coach said that we will be having tryouts for the kicker and I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot?’ I turned out to be pretty decent at it so I’ve been doing it since then,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds played wide receiver some in high school but found that kicking was his passion and where he developed his talent and abilities while contributing to the team as a boy.
“I think kicking is fun, though some people may not view it as a fun thing to do, but us specialists have a good time doing it. First, my success is credited to my coaches. I didn’t start the first game or the second game. The coaches had faith and confidence in me and gave me a chance, so I took it and ran with it because I’m only a freshman,” Reynolds said. “The credit goes to my teammates as well because they believed in me the whole time and they block to give me time to do what I do. It is huge to have time back there because it helps me to be successful.”
The longest punt so far in Reynolds’ career was the 78-yarder he kicked against Tennessee Tech, making it the fourth longest kick in Southeast football program history.
“That gave me a big boost of confidence knowing that I can make real contributions to the team,” Reynolds said.
Southeasts’ next game will be traveling to play against OVC opponent Austin Peay at 4 p.m. Oct. 21.