Lawrence’s Janer Reyes proved last year that he can adjust to just about anything.
So attending Howard University, a mostly black school in Washington, D.C., where he’ll be studying business and playing football on (a half academic, half athletic) a scholarship should be no problem at all for the former Lawrence High football and wrestling standout.
“I think it’ll be great and I’m looking forward to it,” said Reyes. “After last year, it will be like a breath of fresh air for me.”
Actually, Reyes had plenty of fresh air last year, but it wasn’t the kind to which he was accustomed. He spent a year at prep school at Vermont Academy in rural Vermont. It was, to say the least, a big change for him.
“It was definitely a great culture shock,” said Reyes. “The first few weeks, I really missed Lawrence — the people, the food, just everything.
“But I got used to it and I recommend it for anyone from Lawrence. It’s a great way to get ready for the world.
“There were so many foreign exchange students from China, Spain, all sorts of countries and there were a lot of kids where the dollar was nothing to them (because) they were so wealthy. It was a big eye opener seeing how other people live.”
Reyes, a 6-foot-2, 285-pounder who was a heavyweight standout for the Lancers, did not play on a good football team at Vermont Academy, but there were four Division 1 recruits on the 0-8 squad and he may have found his best position on the gridiron — center.
“I had never played it before, and I used to like defense more, but I like center more now,” said Reyes. “I watched film and I can see I’m more dominant at center. That’s what I’ll be playing at Howard.”