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Former Bayside star finds home with Buffalo Bulls

Terrence Reynolds sounds like a man who is right where he wants to be, despite the lengthy journey. The urban landscape of Buffalo might not be where the former standout running back for Bayside High School expected to be three...

By Anthony Bosco

“It was a long road.”

Terrence Reynolds sounds like a man who is right where he wants to be, despite the lengthy journey. The urban landscape of Buffalo might not be where the former standout running back for Bayside High School expected to be three years ago, but it fits him just fine now.

He didn’t take the most direct route to the Division I level, spending two years at Nassau Community College, the second of which saw Reynolds recovering from knee surgery. And he doesn’t have an athletic scholarship, either, walking on instead of earning the free ride which seemed so automatic while he was still a member of the Commodores.

Regardless, Reynolds is reveling.

“I wasn’t sure,” Reynolds said about relocating from Queens to upstate New York. “Everybody is nice. They all say ‘hi’ to you. The coaches are wonderful. If I have a problem, all I have to do is tell the coach. It’s quiet up here, a nice place to just relax.”

Reynolds plays right corner back for the University of Buffalo’s Bulls’ scout team. Though he is a legitimate member of the team, he is not on the club’s gameday roster, meaning he does not travel nor does he suit up for games.

Like “Rudy” of movie fame, Reynolds is playing his hardest in practice with the hopes of catching the coach’s eye, earning a spot on the main roster and getting the scholarship that seemed such a lock three years ago.

‘“I’m working hard now,” Reynolds said before the Bulls played their second game of the season. “I just got to work on my speed. I thought I was the fastest person in high school. When you get to the next level you know what speed is. I thought Nassau was fast.”

The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Reynolds said he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, just a tad behind the fastest players on the team, who run the distance in 4.2 or 4.3 seconds. And while he hopes to trim his time by continuing to work hard and lose weight, Reynolds said he knows he may never get back to 100 percent.

In his second year with Nassau Community, Reynolds tore up his knee in practice when backing up on a cover route, he planted his leg.

“My knee just buckled on me,” he said.

He played with a brace before being sidelined for the rest of the season and undergoing surgery that December.

Reynolds spent much of the next year rehabilitating his knee. When he felt he was at a point where he could make a contribution to a Division I team, Reynolds reached out to his former coach at Bayside, Joe Capuana, who pulled some strings for his former first-string player.

Capuana, Reynolds said, was friendly with Buffalo offensive line coach Roy Istvan. Reynolds sent Buffalo his highlight tape from his days at Bayside and the staff called him and said they wanted him to come up and walk-on to the team.

“I wanted to play at a Division I school where the tuition wasn’t that much,” he said. “I’m doing good in practice on the scout team. I haven’t got my speed fully back. There are some guys that are faster than me, but talent-wise and skill-wise, I’m right up there with them.”

Every day in practice Reynolds goes up against Bulls starting tight end Chad Bartoszek, one of the top players at his position in the nation who caught 42 passes a season for 441 yards and four touchdowns. Reynolds said he hopes to impress the coaching staff by competing against the best the team has.

Playing defense, though, is a far cry from what Reynolds’ specialty was while playing with Bayside, making defensive players look bad. During his senior year with the Commodores, Reynolds was one of the top running backs in the city.

“I wanted to play running back [in college], but my weight wasn’t up there so I stayed on defense,” he said. “I still love running back, but I had to realize I had to switch if I was going to make it at the next level. My senior year in high school I didn’t want to do anything but run the ball. But now I just love defense. I don’t think I can go back to the offensive side of the ball.”

Buffalo, which plays in the MAC along with such teams as Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Kent State, Akron, Ball State, Central Florida and Ohio, lost its first game against non-league for Lehigh, 36-23, but came back and beat Rutgers, 34-11, this past weekend. Reynolds’ former Bayside teammate Jason Grant is a member of the Scarlet Knights.

This year Reynolds has to watch these games like the rest of the fans. But with a little hard work, the former Queens football standout is hopeful he can break through next year.

“When spring ball comes, I’m going to work real hard and try to earn a scholarship,” he said. “When I got here, I was just so happy to be on the Division I level. Hopefully, I can just come out on top.”

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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