The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 52 days away from its Labor Day opener against Florida State at Heinz Field. Panther-Lair.com is counting down the days until the biggest season opener in recent memory.
Today's number is 52, so we're looking at one of Pitt's great underrated running backs.
In the 40-year span between Marshall Goldberg and Tony Dorsett, there was Billy Reynolds.
Reynolds doesn't appear on Pitt's list of all-time leading rushers, but he truly is the link between Pitt's two greatest rushers, Goldberg and Dorsett. Reynolds' team-leading 748 rushing yards in 1952 stands as the high-water mark between Goldberg's 886 yards in 1936 and Dorsett's 1,686 in 1973.
A native of St. Mary's, West Virginia, Reynolds shocked the recruiting world - or what existed of it in the late 1940's - when he chose the Panthers over the Mountaineers for college, a decision, teammates would later say, was influenced greatly by the success of Goldberg at Pitt.
Reynolds was a two-way star at Pitt, leading the Panthers in interceptions and receiving in 1950, his first active season. He was Pitt's leading receiver again in 1952 and also led the team in rushing.
Reynolds was selected in the second round of the 1953 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, who use the No. 23 overall pick in the draft to take him. He contributed to the Browns offense but functioned primarily as a kick and punt returner during his three years in Cleveland (split up by a year in the Air Force). Reynolds joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1958, spent 1959 in the Canadian Football League, and played one final season with the Oakland Raiders before retiring.
Pitt won a total of 10 games in Reynolds' three active seasons (1-8 in 1950, 3-7 in 1951, and 6-3 in 1952), but his historical positioning between Goldberg and Dorsett makes him a relevant piece of Pitt's past.
Previous entries in the Countdown
Click Here to view this Link.