Chris Reynolds, starting quarterback for the 49ers, is returning for a sixth and final year at Charlotte. He made his announcement via a social media post on Dec. 20. Reynolds elected to return because he has unfinished business with the team.
"I didn't want to think about it during the season," Reynolds said. "I feel like I had a job to do at the time and goals to achieve. So, figuring out about that extra year and my future wasn't the right time to think about it."
The 49ers started 4-2 on the season and ended up 5-7, so this motivated Reynolds and fueled the hunger for him to come back and achieve the goal of not just making it to a bowl game but also winning one.
"After that loss to ODU, it obviously built up a lot of emotion, disappointment; it really hurt," Reynolds said. "I wanted to make sure I could get away from the building and really make a logical decision."
Reynolds had conversations with his family and his coaches after taking time to think his decision over. Both coach Healy and coach Carney wanted Reynolds to do what was in his own best interest, and neither tried to push their agenda.
"They were very open and said, 'Hey Chris, whatever you do, we support you,'" Reynolds said.
Reynolds mentioned that even though he will have the opportunity to have a full-time job and start a family one day, but he only has one chance to play college football, so this was also a critical factor in his decision.
"My goal is to play football at the next level," Reynolds said. "I want to play football for as long as I can, and by coming back, I have an opportunity to do that."
Once a scout team player, Reynolds has overcome the odds to get where he is today. He wants to go out on top in his final season to deliver for the program that has given him so much. Reynolds is excited about the challenge.
"In 2017, there wasn't a promise for me in the world," Reynolds said. "I wasn't supposed to play quarterback. I was supposed to be the walk-on scout team guy forever. I've been through a lot, so why not end it on a high note?"
Reynolds has become known as the record breaker during his time at Charlotte. He holds multiple records, such as the single-game passing yards record with 448 against LA Tech this past season and the single-season passing yards record with 2,680 also this past season. He is atop the career passing yards list with 7,726 yards, which he achieved this last season as well, and the 49ers' four-year starter is the program's all-time touchdowns leader with 62.
With several seniors announcing they are returning, the ceiling is very high for the 49ers. With the right game plan and coaches in place, the 2022 season could be exceptional and having, as Healy called him, "the little engine that could" returning in the backfield for another year might be the key to a 49er bowl win.