We have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the likes of Stepfan Taylor and Chase Thomas this season, but replacing Andrew Luck and the other members of last year's 11-win squad will require a team effort. Over the next 12 days we'll profile 12 less heralded Cardinal players whose ability to adjust to larger roles could determine whether Stanford is competing for a third straight BCS invite or settling for a spot in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Name: Ed Reynolds
Year: RS So.
Career Stats: None. Did not see action in 2010, missed all of 2011 season with a torn ACL.
Shoes to Fill: Delano Howell, Michael Thomas
Where He Came From: Reynolds came to Stanford from Woodberry Forest HS in Woodberry Forest, Virginia. Rated as a three-star player coming out of high school, Reynolds was part of a 2010 class that was ranked by Rivals as the 26th-best class in the country. The 2010 class features a lot of players who are set to become defensive starters (or big-time contributors) like Henry Anderson, Barry Browning, Devon Carrington, Blake Lueders and A.J. Tarpley.
What He's Done: There’s not much to say about Reynolds’ career at Stanford thus far – he didn’t play in 2010, his freshman year, and missed the entire 2011 season after tearing his ACL. However, that hasn’t stopped him from having a spring camp that made the coaching staff and the players single him out as a rising star. The reason Reynolds makes this year’s 12 for '12 list is because his spring camp was so shockingly impressive. You never expect too much when a guy comes off an ACL injury – the long, difficult rehab process makes it hard to project just how a player will look when he returns to action – but Reynolds looked both strong and fast in the spring. More specifically, head coach David Shaw said Reynolds was the best safety in spring camp, and defensive coordinator Derek Mason complimented his ability to "handle the mental aspects of the game."
Training Camp Outlook: While Reynolds is listed as a free safety on the team roster, I wouldn’t be surprised if Reynolds comes out of fall camp as the Cardinal’s starting strong safety. He’s still battling with Devon Carrington and Jordan Richards for a spot in the defensive backfield, but with both Michael Tomas and Delano Howell now off in the NFL, it’s easy to envision the 6-foot-2, 207-pound Reynolds being a physical run-stopper in the mold of Howell. Reynolds’ sizable frame means he might actually be able to handle the physical punishment of the position, unlike Howell, who was never able to stay entirely healthy during his time on the Farm.
Reynolds on Twitter: Unfortunately, Ed has yet to grace us with his presence in the Twitter world.
Alphabetically Speaking: Ed falls between two players from two very different eras – Barry R. Reynolds, who lettered in 1971 and 1972, and Jackson E. Reynolds, who lettered in 1894 and 1895. No, that’s not a typo.
Numerically Speaking: Leigh Torrence sported No. 29 for Stanford from 2000-04. The cornerback went undrafted, but has bounced around the NFL over the last seven seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Saints.
Related Video: Before Ed switched to safety, he had some smooth moves as a high school running back. Check out his senior year highlights here:
Fun Fact: Ed’s father, Ed Reynolds, played in the NFL from 1983 to 1992 with the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Ed, Sr. was a part of the Patriots’ 1985 team that went to the Super Bowl and lost to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" Chicago Bears, 46-10.