The 67-year-old screen legend, a Florida State running back in the 1950s, is the new host of ESPN Classic's Reel Classics.
SI: Your college football career ended after two seasons when you injured your knee. How good could you have been?
Reynolds: I get greater each time we have a reunion. Lee Corso [who roomed with Reynolds at FSU] and I get together and talk about this run I made against Auburn that was around 55 or 60 yards [actually 54]. Now it's a 125-yard run and I get tackled in the parking lot next to the orange juice stand.
SI: You've done many sports movies, among them Semi-Tough (SI cover, page 97), Stroker Ace and The Longest Yard. Which was most fun?
Reynolds: The Longest Yard. Nobody had a clue if it would work. I went to a preview, and people were screaming and yelling and ripping seats out. Movies are supposed to take you on an emotional ride, and it was the first time I'd been in one that did, other than maybe Deliverance.
SI: What appeals to you about the ESPN Classic gig?
Reynolds: Talking about actors who can act and catch a ball at the same time.
SI: You called Florida State coach Bobby Bowden "the brother I never had." How long do you think he'll coach?
Reynolds: If he has a big winning season, I wouldn't be surprised if he just moved on or became athletic director.
SI: Are athletes easy to work with in film?