Now, he could see perhaps the highest honor of his young career. See what the Unitas family said, after the jump!
Tony Lombardi, Editor-in-Chief over at Russell Street Report, has reported from an exclusive interview that the family of Johnny Unitas has voiced approval over the possibility of Reynolds' wearing number 19.
This, the number of the Baltimore QB legend.
This, the retired number of the Navy Academy grad Reynolds--only the 4th one that they have ever retired. The last one was in 1985, ironically the #30 that Napoelon McCallum wore at the Academy before he played for the USFL's Baltimore Stars. (His first USFL season was in San Antonio.)
But I digress.
The odd-looking #6 that Reynolds wore during rookie camp last week is clearly not going to be his final number, as he is being touted as a WR/RB. So, that leaves the teens (10-19) and the eighties (80-89), designated by the NFL for wide-outs. I admit to automatically dispelling the notion of his ever wearing Unitas' #19. Largely because it seemed that a non-QB would not be the one to wear that number.
Yet, consider: Scott Mitchell wore the number 19 as a Raven.
Approved by the Unitas family, this has become a buried anecdote in Ravens history.
Why couldn't a Real American Hero wear this number? (Not that Mitchell isn't. I'm propping the Military, here.)
"I think it would be great if Keenan wore 19," Joe Unitas, son of the immortalized QB, told Lombardi. "He is a tremendous athlete, and probably an even better young man. What I’ve seen of him on TV and interviews he handles himself very well, he’s a true leader, awesome work ethic, someone to be respected, and a guy that many of the young kids should look up to and try to model themselves after. If he wants to wear 19 I’m all for it as I’m sure my Mom, Chad and Paige would be as well."
Wow. Just, wow.
With all of this hype, the question that is begged is if Reynolds will be able to live up to it with his on-field production.
Consider this: one doesn't score 88 carer touchdowns by smoke and mirrors. Nor by accident. The decision-making in that veer offense, the choice to keep the ball, the mental navigation one player ahead of the one that is being juked current; those are the abilties of a talented individual. The sheer repetition makes him legit. There are two very real things to consider: he knows what to do with the ball in his hands, and he can run an option offense, should it be a surprise goal-line package of some sort. Just imagine that for one moment. Rockstar Rookie Raven runs the option to perfection inside the 10. It could happen, people.
Anyone who would say that this publicity is premature and no yet earned by Reynolds would have no argument from me.
I just enjoy the fact that a Raven is at the center of it.
He will earn it, watch and see. This article was originally published on the Baltimore Beatdown website.