Reynoso gets Pack mentality

Del Oro grad becomes a key defensive lineman for rapidly improving Nevada
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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After a couple of turbulent years to start his college football career, Jack Reynoso is back doing what he does best — creating turbulence in opposing backfields. A star defensive lineman at Del Oro High, Reynoso signed with the University of Nevada in 2008, but delayed his enrollment until 2009 to save a year of eligibility. Once he got on the practice field, the coaching staff decided to try him on the offensive line. But after his redshirt season, Reynoso was yanked back to the defensive side. As Nevada was having one of its best seasons in history in 2010, Reynoso said he was in a bit of a rut, seeing limited action behind two veterans. “Last year I kind of just slacked off and I felt like there were two stars in front of me. I was trying to do my own thing,” Reynoso said. “This year I’ve tried to embrace what coach (Andy) Buh and coach (Barry) Sacks have taught us. “They teach us good technique and hard work. We’re not the best athletes, but we work hard every day in practice and on game day it’s not a shock when we go out there.” The formula suits Reynoso well. After a summer of intense workouts in Reno, the 6-3, 275-pound defensive tackle locked down a starting job before the season started. He’s delivered, with two sacks, four tackles-for-loss and 23 tackles overall on the year. The Wolf Pack rebounded from a brutal four-game stretch to start the season and now lead the Western Athletic Conference with a 2-0 record heading into Saturday’s contest at New Mexico State. Nevada opened the year at Oregon, falling 69-20 to last year’s BCS title game participant. After a tough 17-14 win over San Jose State, the Pack traveled to Boise State and Texas Tech in back-to-back games. They hung with the Broncos in a 30-10 loss and nearly knocked off the Red Raiders, losing 35-34 to the team that stunned Oklahoma last week. After taking their lumps early the Nevada players regrouped and reeled off three straight wins, including a 45-38 win over Fresno State last weekend. “The first four games we had people trying to do too much instead of people doing their jobs,” Reynoso said. “The win over Fresno State was huge in our quest for a WAC title. We both came in undefeated and whoever won that game was going to float to the top.” Reynoso’s first two years at Hcollege also included personal tragedy. He lost his father Rick to a brain tumor in 2010. Reynoso’s mother Jan brings an old Nevada hat Rick used to wear to each home game, and some road games. Jack touches it before taking the field in a tribute to his father. “If I’m not pumped up for the game, which I usually am, I definitely am ready to go after that,” Reynoso said. “I’ve used it as motivation and tried to turn it into a positive thing, as much as I can.” Reynoso plans to follow in his family’s footsteps when he’s done with football. His father was a police officer and his mother’s father was a firefighter. Reynoso said he will attend fire academy after earning his degree in human development and family sciences. The sophomore still has plenty of football left to play in Reno. He said senior Brett Roy has mentored him and helped him become a playmaker on defense. Roy was a preseason all-WAC pick and he’s having a huge senior year with six sacks and 12.5 tackles-for-loss. “He’s my best friend on and off the field,” Reynoso said of Roy. “He’s definitely taken me under his wing and shown me how to do things right.” Nevada might have a tough time topping last season, when it beat Boston College in the Fight Hunger Bowl to close out a 13-1 season. But Reynoso said the Wolf Pack has the talent to compete at that level again. “I think defensively we’re even better than last year,” Reynoso said. “The offense is coming along really well. I know that everybody belives we can win a WAC championship and get into a bowl and compete with anybody.”