Hahnville High's Darius Reynaud is SMOKIN' at West Virginia
He's a big play 'waiting to happen' every time he touches the football, says coach
By Mike Detillier -
Sep 28, 2006
The West Virginia Mountaineers are turning heads nationally with their high-powered offense led by former Hahnville High School star running-back-turned-wide-receiver Darius Reynaud.
Reynard is part of a trifecta of offensive players - quarterback Pat White and halfback Steve Slaton round out the trio - that has the Mountaineers 4-0 for the season and ranked 4th nationally.
The former Louisiana All-State halfback is leading the Mountaineers in receptions with 13 catches for 179 yards and two scores. He is averaging an impressive 35.5 yards per runback on kickoffs, and he has brought one back for a touchdown.
In West Virginia's 27-10 win over East Carolina, Reynaud became the first Mountaineer receiver to catch passes for over 100 yards since former Belle
Chasse High School star (and current Cincinnati Bengals end) Chris Henry hit the century mark in November of 2004.
Reynaud caught five five passes for 110 yards and one touchdown and he drew plaudits from WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez.
"Darius came through big for us against East Carolina," Rodriguez said. "Defensively the Pirates did an excellent job shutting down our running game, so we needed a big play via the pass.
"Darius is a big play 'waiting to happen' every time he touches the football. His strength as a player is his ability to make people miss tackles in the open field and break away from the pack. If it's after a catch or on a kickoff return, Darius has the ability to change the scoreboard."
Rodriguez says Reynaud has made great strides during his transition from high-school running back to college wide-out.
"When you are a running back who touched the ball 25 to 30 times a game and you get switched to wide receiver, there is a certain mind-set you have to change to excel at that spot. In our offense he may touch the football only six times, and that is including kick returns.
"You have to make something happen when you get the ball in your hands, and Reynaud does that. He is turning into a tremendous player for us."
But there's work to be done. Even though Rodriguez says that Reynaud has excelled as a receiver, he still is a work-in-progress to become a complete college end.
"No one has ever questioned Darius' ability to get open, catch the ball well and get good separation from opposing players. What he has worked on, and is still working on, is becoming a more precise route-runner and a more physical blocker. He is a strong young man and he can develop into a very good blocker, and we need him to excel in that area.
" He is a superb football player with the ball in his hands, now we have to make him a superb player when the ball is not in his hands."
LSU's Landry, Jackson & Dorsey wow NFL big shot
During the LSU Tigers 49-7 thrashing of Tulane, an NFC director of player personnel had high praise for the Tigers' defense and in particular LaRon Landry, defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and defensive end Tyson Jackson.
"LaRon (Landry) is one of the most complete safeties I have seen come out of the college ranks in quite some time," said the veteran personnel chief.
"He is a physical run defender and excellent open field tackler like Troy Polamalu is with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"He also has the cover skills of Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens). This guy is a surefire first round choice in 2007."
The 20-year NFL scout also said that the Tigers have two other potential first round choices in defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and former West St. John High School defensive end Tyson Jackson.
"Dorsey is a dominant inside player who's been almost unblockable so far this season. But who has really jumped up at me is the young end, Tyson Jackson. I knew a bit about Dorsey before the season, but Jackson was an unknown to me.
"But he has the ability to be not only a good player, but a game-changer on defense - and he is only a sophomore. Tyson has excellent size, a super quick initial move off the snap and great closing speed to the quarterback. That Tiger defense is something special."