Keenan Reynolds encounters unique disadvantage in draft prep

If Jalen Ramsey had only been allowed to leave Florida State's campus twice a week to train for the NFL draft, would he have run a 4.41 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine? If Derrick Henry had gone to classes all day instead of training all day in the weeks before the combine, would he have recorded a 37-inch vertical jump?

These are questions NFL scouts should ask themselves before judging Keenan Reynolds.

The former Navy quarterback's experience in preparing for the draft has been unique, to be sure. While most prospects haven't been in a classroom since December, Reynolds is still pursuing Naval Academy graduation in May. While most resided at their training facilities of choice, Reynolds commuted up to three hours round trip to his.

The disadvantages are apparent to anyone.

Anyone but Reynolds.

"I didn't realize how much I was juggling until I saw guys that don't have anything to do but train all day," Reynolds told College Football 24/7. "But I think it's only a disadvantage if you allow it to be, and I'm not allowing it to be. I feel like I can get just as good a workout in as guys who aren't doing anything else. I'm used to being in this environment."

For a draft prospect who wasn't even invited to the combine and instead trained specifically for a pro-day workout, here's some of what that environment entails:

» By mid-afternoon, when most prospects were done training for the day, Reynolds' training was yet to begin after spending the day in class.

» As top prospects crisscross the country visiting NFL clubs to interview and, hopefully impress team officials, Reynolds doesn't have quite the same chance.

"It's something that could be done, I might be able to work around it, but it would need to be on a weekend so I don't miss any more school, because I've already missed enough school with all these things going on," he said.

» As a privilege of being a senior, Reynolds was authorized to leave the Naval Academy twice a week. He used those leaves to drive from Annapolis, Md., to the Sport and Speed Institute in Chantilly, Va. That meant traversing the Capital Beltway and the traffic that goes with it. On those days, Reynolds spent up to three hours in the car; longer than it takes to get in a good workout.

» To maximize his training, he would stay in Chantilly and work out on the weekends.

"Toward the end of it I cut it down to just once a week, it was getting very, very difficult to work that in with school and everything else," Reynolds said. "It definitely was a struggle trying to get out there. My weekends for like six weeks were consumed."

All that came while knowing he'll have to change positions to make an NFL roster. Reynolds operated the Midshipmen triple-option offense for four years at quarterback, and broke the NCAA record for career rushing touchdowns with 88, but at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, his pro football future will have to be at another position, likely running back.

An injury during the practice week of the East-West Shrine Game prevented Reynolds from participating in the game; another injury hampered his efforts at Navy's pro day. Finally, in a second pro day workout on March 30, Reynolds was able to show scouts from 12 NFL clubs what he could do, and that included drills at four different positions: quarterback, running back, receiver and punt returner. He's also worked out for the New England Patriots, competed at the Baltimore Ravens' workout event for local prospects, and most recently, the Tennessee Titans came to the Naval Academy to work him out on Friday.

The Titans wanted to see him at all four positions, too.

"I got a pretty equal spread across all those positions with the Titans," Reynolds said. "The feedback was all positive -- they had good things to say about the way I performed -- we'll just have to see what happens."

The 2016 NFL Draft is in less than three weeks, and Reynolds might or might not hear his name called during the three-day, 253-pick event. His chance could come as an undrafted free agent.

As long as it comes in some form, however, Reynolds believes he can take advantage of it.

No matter what the odds.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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