Keenan Reynolds became a record-setting quarterback at Navy by putting up some mind-boggling numbers.
His 88 career touchdowns are the most in NCAA history. His 4,559 career rushing yards are the most for a quarterback in NCAA history. And he is the only two-time 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard passer in Navy history.
Reynolds is still playing a numbers game. Only now he’s putting them to rest.
In February, he became only the fourth Navy player to have his jersey number (19) retired. And Friday night, he became only the second Goodpasture player to have his jersey number (3) retired, joining Alan Banks (No. 18 in 1978).
“It means just as much to have my jersey retired at Goodpasture as it did at Navy,” Reynolds said. “It’s special to have two great places retire my number, and it’s incredible with the way it happened so close together like this. This place (Goodpasture) set me up for my success at Navy.”
It also was special how Reynolds found out his Gooodpasture jersey was being retired. Former Navy and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach let him know via a video tribute during a reception in Reynolds’ honor at Goodpasture.
“I’d love to be there with my favorite Navy quarterback,” said Staubach, whose Navy No. 12 also was retired. “What you’ve accomplished at Navy is just fantastic. From your Plebe year to your first class year, you’ve been a first-class person. You’ve been to me, the finest quarterback in college football. I can’t say enough about how much I admire you and what you stand for on and off the field. And, oh by the way, I wanted to be the first to let you know that the Goodpasture Christian School is retiring your jersey tonight.”
After that, David Martin, who coached Reynolds at Goodpasture and is now the coach at Stewarts Creek, and Goodpasture athletics director Clint Parnell presented Reynolds with his framed No. 3 blue-and-gold jersey.
Reynolds received a standing ovation from the crowd of about 200, who stuck around until 10:30 p.m. when he finally showed up at the reception — “A Salute To Keenan Reynolds” — which began at 8 p.m.
Reynolds had come from minicamp with the Baltimore Ravens, who selected him in the sixth round of the NFL Draft and have moved him from quarterback to wide receiver.
His flight was delayed.
“Everything that could have went wrong went wrong today,” Reynolds told the crowd. “I was texting my mom back and forth because I was so worried about being late and she goes, ‘Your dad is on the stage talking.’ Anybody who knows my dad knows he can talk, so I was like, ‘Then we’re cool. We’ve got at least 30 minutes.’ Seriously, it really does mean a lot that all of you … waited on me.”
Video tributes from Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit also were shown.
Former Goodpasture and Middle Tennessee State running back Benny Cunningham, who is now with the Los Angeles Rams, was there along with former Goodpasture and Vanderbilt safety Marcus Buggs.
Fox Sports college football analyst and former Tennessee Vols safety Charles Davis was the emcee.
“I am really, really, really, really really blessed to be here,” Reynolds said. “It’s humbling to have a whole night just about you.”
Reynolds, who finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, is one of the most decorated college football players ever to come out of Nashville.
“Several of us got together and talked about it and decided it would be good to go ahead and retire Keenan’s jersey because of all that he has accomplished,” Parnell said. ” Keenan set a lot of great records at Goodpasture. He brought a lot of energy and recognition to Goodpasture, and he is definitely a person who deserved this.”
After the reception, Reynolds admitted the transition not only from the college ranks to the pros, but also from quarterback to slot receiver has been a challenge.
“I’m working; I’ve got a lot of hard work to do, but I’m enjoying every day,” Reynolds said. “I’m living the dream and working as hard as I can. The (route running) is the most difficult thing. Other than that, it’s a very detailed position with a lot of technique and little things that you don’t understand until you actually play the position. So I’m learning every day.”
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 and on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.