CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Just one glimpse at Chase Reynolds reveals that he's a football player.

The Montana running back's chiseled frame, thick neck, and protruding calves are giveaways. But being a football player is just a fraction of Reynolds' story.

The 22-year-old redshirt junior is also a husband and a father and carries a 3.2 grade-point average while majoring in criminology. In the summers, he works 70-hour weeks at a Montana construction company to make ends meet.

And that's not it.

He and his wife, Kila, are expecting their second child in April. The couple's son, Talen, is 4 years old.

"People always ask me, if I'm juggling this, juggling that?" said Reynolds, whose No.1-ranked Grizzlies (14-0) will face the second-ranked Villanova Wildcats (13-1) in tomorrow's Football Championship Subdivision national championship game at Finley Stadium.

"You know what, I wake up, go to football, and come home and do what I have to do," he said. "I do it so much, I really can't tell you where I get the time. I just put everything together."

Montana coach Bobby Hauck admits that at 22, he wouldn't have been able to juggle such things.

"But he obviously is a mature young man and he's able to handle it," Hauck said. "He does everything right."

Reynolds is especially flawless on the football field.

The 6-foot, 195-pounder is a big reason the Grizzlies are making their second consecutive NCAA championship-game appearance.

He has rushed for 1,438 yards and 22 touchdowns, tying the school's single-season rushing TD mark he set a year ago. The Drummond, Mont., native's 24 total touchdowns surpassed the school record (23) he set last season.

Reynolds is ranked second in the nation in scoring (10.29 points per game) and eighth in rushing average (102.7 per game).

But, he'll tell you his family life is more fulfilling than football.

"My family comes first, no matter what," said Reynolds, whose wife and son accompanied him here. "I think being a family guy has helped me a lot with football. I'm used to being in positions where sometimes it's tough with life."

Reynolds believes having Kila at his side is another bonus. He said she's always there for advice when things aren't going well in football.

"I look at it as a blessing," Reynolds said of being a husband and a father.


Villanova's Matt Szczur and Montana's Marc Mariani were named first-team FCS all-Americans yesterday by the Associated Press.

Szczur, a versatile junior wideout, made the team as an all-purpose player. Mariani, a senior, made it as a wideout.