OU linebacker Ryan Reynolds is returning from his third knee injury this season. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN
But what was it like coming back this time vs. the other two times?
"Well, I knew what to expect. Last time I got hurt I gained a lot of weight. So I knew to keep my weight down this time while I came back to give myself a better chance at coming back at full strength.”
→You were noticeably faster and quicker last year than 2007. Was part of that from the fact you were slimmer and is that how you wanted to come back?
"Exactly. And I have tried to keep around that same weight (around 225). I’m actually five pounds lighter than that right now. It’s just been better agility-wise and with my speed. Once I get my legs underneath me, I’m hoping to be back where I was last year.”
→You were devastated after the Texas game last year; it’s been a horrible run of back luck. But I remember coach Venables saying that following Monday, you were already on the sidelines doing sit-ups and he had to tell you to relax. You turned it around quickly and said, ‘I’m going to be back.’
"Exactly. I didn’t want to sit and sulk and take too much time off. Or feel sorry for myself or let people feel sorry for me. I just wanted to let the team know I was still part of it and I was coming back.”
→Coming into last season, you were the only proven commodity at linebacker. Now, there are a lot of proven commodities at the position. How much easier is it that you don’t have to make every play necessarily as you work your way back?
"It’s nice. They all know the adjustments, how to make the calls. It’s a lot less stress on me as opposed to last year.”