How good was Burt Reynolds in Football? - Fan Arch

How good was Burt Reynolds in Football?

How good was Burt Reynolds in Football?

Burt Reynolds, widely known as a popular actor in Hollywood, had a unique and lesser-known talent as a professional football player. Before making a name for himself on the big screen, Reynolds showed promise and potential as a football player during his college years. This article will explore Burt Reynolds' football career, his skills on the field, and his impact in the world of football.

Early Years and College Football

Born on February 11, 1936, in Lansing, Michigan, Reynolds was raised in a sports-oriented family. His father, Burton Milo Reynolds Sr., was a former Army officer and served as the Chief of Police. From a young age, Reynolds showed interest and aptitude in various sports, including football.

Reynolds attended Palm Beach High School, where he excelled in athletics. He played multiple sports, including football, baseball, and track. His talent and dedication earned him a football scholarship to Florida State University (FSU) in 1954.

College Football Career

At FSU, Reynolds played as a halfback for the Florida State Seminoles. During his sophomore year, he became the team's leading rusher and led them to a victory in the 1956 Little Dixie Championship. Reynolds' remarkable performance on the field caught the attention of professional football scouts.

However, his football career took an unfortunate turn when he suffered a knee injury that required surgery. This injury significantly impacted his performance, causing him to lose his starting position on the team. Despite the setback, Reynolds remained determined and made a successful comeback in his senior year.

Professional Football Aspirations

Reynolds had ambitions to play professional football, and his performance at FSU had garnered interest from several NFL teams. In 1957, he was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 20th round of the NFL Draft. Reynolds signed a contract with the Colts but struggled to secure a spot on the team due to his knee injury and subsequent surgeries.

Unfortunately, Reynolds' dreams of a professional football career were dashed when he was released by the Colts just a few months into his rookie season. This setback led Reynolds to explore other career options.

Transition to Acting

After leaving professional football, Reynolds turned his attention towards acting. He moved to New York City and enrolled in acting classes. In 1959, he made his television debut in the series "Flight" and started gaining recognition for his talent as an actor.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Reynolds appeared in numerous television shows and movies, establishing himself as a prominent actor. His breakthrough role came in 1972 with the film "Deliverance," which catapulted him to stardom.

Legacy in Football

Although Burt Reynolds' football career was cut short, his passion for the sport remained evident throughout his life. He maintained strong ties to football and often expressed his love for the game in interviews.

Reynolds also played a significant role in popularizing football in mainstream media. He starred in the 1974 film "The Longest Yard," where he played the role of Paul Crewe, a former professional quarterback who leads a team of prisoners in a football game against the prison guards. The movie was a huge success and further solidified Reynolds' association with football in the minds of many fans.

Burt Reynolds' football career may have been brief, but his impact on the sport and his subsequent success in the entertainment industry cannot be overlooked. Despite facing setbacks and injuries, Reynolds showed great potential as a football player during his college years. Ultimately, his transition to acting allowed him to leave an indelible mark on Hollywood, while his portrayal of football-related roles helped popularize the sport in mainstream media. Burt Reynolds will always be remembered as a talented actor and an individual with a deep love for the game of football.


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