Standing in at 6-foot-5 and 307 pounds, Michigan State defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds is a hard man to miss. However, in the wee hours of the morning, it was lucky that an 18-year old at the side of the road was able to spot Reynolds’ car and flag the big man down.
The teenager had been shot several times – including in the head – as an apparent robbery victim. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg puts it best: “Most news stories involving college football players, the summer and the wee hours of the morning aren’t positive ones. Just ask Ohio State.”
Luckily for everyone involved, this is not one of those stories, but it is definitely one that needs to be shared. Reynolds did exactly that during the Spartans’ Media Day session on Monday.
“Nobody else was around, and he was bleeding pretty badly,” Reynolds said. “I whipped my car around in the middle of the street and jumped out and ran over to him and helped him out. I put pressure on his wounds and stuff. He had been shot in the head. I’ve still got my shirt and all my clothes over at the house that are completely drenched in his blood and stuff. Thank God he made it.”
Reynolds elaborated on the evening, talking about it through the eyes of a football player dealing with a fallen or downtrodden teammate.
“I’m holding him, cradling him and putting pressure and telling him, ‘Hey, everything is going to be OK, everything is going to be all right.’ He’s telling me, ‘I’m dead,’ and I said, ‘You’re not dead, you’re sitting here talking to me. You’re gonna be fine, just hang on, just keep fighting.’ I felt like I was spotting someone on the bench and being like, ‘Man, you can do it. Just relax and keep going. You got it and all that.’ Thankfully, he made it. I haven’t really spoken to the family since I’ve been in camp and stuff. He was stable and everything the last time I checked.”
Speaking of football, Reynolds has taken an extremely positive lesson from his extremely chance encounter. After making a career-high six starts as a redshirt junior in 2012, Reynolds has brought an added intensity to fall practices in order to work to solidify his role with the team.
“Life is so delicate. You don’t think about things like that happening until it’s happened. Just thinking, I was like what if my son would’ve been in that situation? Would somebody else have stopped? Thankfully, he made it and everything, but it makes you consider and be thankful and so grateful for everything that you’re given.
“I’m truly blessed to be here and in this situation that I’m in right now, playing college football at the highest level. There’s so many people that I know who didn’t make it out of where they were. I think I owe it to everybody that helped me get here to do my best and go as hard as I can. This stuff isn’t something that I get back. Life isn’t something that you get back. My goal in this camp has been to go as hard as I can. Even the first couple practices, I’ve never been so tired and so sore after practice. I think it’s just because I’ve been trying to go hard. I can feel my body breaking down just so it can be built back up and be stronger for the games.”
Come Saturdays, when his Spartans are playing on ESPN, ABC or the Big Ten Network, you can bet one thankful 18-year old will be watchinge.
The rest of us here at Gamedayr will be watching as well, cheering on a true hero.