Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah State Aggies wide receiver Travis Reynolds (8) makes a reception in the red zone as the University of Utah hosts Utah State, college football Thursday, August 29, 2013 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.
Utah State football: Senior receivers’ patience, persistence paying off

Aggies’ Reynolds, Van Leeuwen waited a long time to break out.

First Published Oct 02 2013 04:20 pm • Last Updated Oct 03 2013 11:11 am

Logan • Travis Reynolds couldn’t call up many off-field memories with his fellow senior receiver, Travis Van Leeuwen.

It’s not that they don’t spend time together — they do. The "off the field" memories can be difficult to summon, because they don’t get off it much.

At a glance

Utah State’s two Travises

Travis Reynolds, Sr., 5-foot-11, 180 pounds

2013 season » 21 catches, 306 yards, three touchdowns

2010-12 seasons » 37 catches, 344 yards, one touchdown

Travis Van Leeuwen, Sr., 6-3, 195

2013 season » 21 catches, 287 yards, one touchdown

2010-2012 seasons » 43 catches, 528 yards, three touchdowns

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"Me and him, we’re about business," Reynolds said. "We’re mostly out here running extra routes, catching the jugs, working on our releases against different coverages. That’s all we do."

The two Travises, Nos. 7 and 8, don’t take a lot of time off, and that’s helped them become not just senior leaders for Utah State’s receiving group, but Chuckie Keeton’s top targets this year. When Utah State hosts BYU this weekend, they’ll be the big-play threats in the passing game.

The duo each has eclipsed their previous season-best yardage marks only five games in, and are averaging a combined 118.6 yards per game receiving. The two have been fast friends since they arrived in Logan, and have waited for breakout seasons together.

"It’s a blessing to have the opportunity — it’s been a blast," Van Leeuwen said. "When we were younger, we always talked about how we were going to be the guys that controlled the offense and help lead this receiving corps. It’s turned out the way we always imagined."

It was soon after he had signed with USU that Reynolds, a 5-foot-11 pass-catcher out of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., got a Facebook message from a stranger from Provo who shared his first name. The 6-foot-3 beanpole from Timpview High shared something else, too: He was going to play receiver at Utah State.

The two hit it off instantly, they said. They never roomed together, but they were always at each other’s dorm rooms playing video games or getting food together. Reynolds has even been down to Van Leeuwen’s house in Utah County and gotten to know his family. Van Leeuwen offered Reynolds some winter shopping tips and made sure he was getting by during his first winter in Cache Valley.

"It’s kind of hard for him with [his family] living in Florida," Van Leeuwen said. "But I definitely know he loves his mom a lot."

The two got on the field fairly regularly as underclassmen, but not as much as they wanted to. Reynolds and Van Leeuwen ultimately played a smaller role than Matt Austin, Chuck Jacobs and other older teammates, which isn’t unusual in any program.

story continues below
story continues below

But Van Leeuwen acknowledged sometimes he was frustrated. When that happened, Reynolds was the one who helped center him.

"He used to stress a lot sometimes when things weren’t going right," Reynolds said. "I went up to him and said, ‘Man, you know what? Just be patient, you know what I’m saying? Don’t stress it.’ "

Both of the seniors stuck it out, and it’s paid off for them, and for the Aggies.

After losing its top five receiving targets last season, the Aggies’ passing game has thrived, ranking No. 28 in the nation. As much credit as Keeton deserves, the guys who run his throws down are finally getting their praise as well.

"I’m my own worst critic, so I’m hard on them, but these guys have done well," receivers coach Jovon Bouknight said. "They go out every game, and I’m more and more impressed every week."


Twitter: @kylegoon

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.