For four years, Colin Reardon was running the offense for the Poland football team.
For the next four years, Reardon hopes to be doing the same at Kent State.
In front of a large crowd of students in the school library on Feb. 1, Reardon sat with his family and signed his letter of intent to continue his quarterbacking career at Kent. Although Reardon's first choice was actually Miami of Ohio, he changed his commitment to the other MAC East establishment in time to sign his letter. That change of heart ended up being an easy one for the well-spoken former Bulldog.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Colin Reardon was joined by his parents Lisa and Dennis Reardon on Feb. 1 as he signed his letter of intent to continue his football career at Kent State University. He said he was heading to Kent with the hopes of taking on the role of quarterback. Also joining the signing was Colin’s grandmother Rita Kovach, left.
"(Kent) is a prestigious school," he said amongst his peers. "I loved the coaching staff and they have a rising program. They return almost all of their starters and are close to a MAC championship."
Winning a state championship alluded Reardon while at Poland, but it drives him every day. That is why he is willing to give every ounce of effort at Kent.
"I want to be part of a championship team," he said excitedly. "I will put a lot of heart and effort into hopefully starting. I'll do whatever it takes. Whatever you put in, you get out."
Reardon put a lot in at Poland and that paid off with numerous awards and accolades. Besides earning multiple letters and All-Conference status, Reardon almost rewrote the record books at Poland. In his illustrious career, Colin threw for more than 4,500 yards and 40 touchdowns. He was also named MVP of the 2011 Ohio State camp. According to his coach, statistics are only half of Reardon's attributes.
"(Colin is) a leader and a great person," said Poland head coach Mark Brungard earlier this season. "He's a kid who I handed the torch to and said lead this team. He embraced that."
Conversely, the people of Poland embraced Colin back. The quarterback never took his playing time at Poland for granted and was aware of how much backing Bulldog Nation gave to him these past four seasons.
"I thank Poland fans for all of their support," Reardon said sincerely. "Playing at Poland gave me a great opportunity. We played against great competition. Even though we were a Division III school, we played some Division I schools."
Playing top opponents in high school should help Reardon at Kent because the Flashes play a pretty intimidating schedule as well. In the past, Kent clashed with Ohio State. This season, the Flashes traveled to Alabama to play the eventual national champions and in the coming seasons Kent will compete against Kentucky, Rutgers, Clemson, Penn State as well as the Buckeyes again.
"(Kent) plays a big schedule," said Reardon. "The MAC is always on TV so it gets a lot of exposure."
While watching the Flashes on the tube is one option to catch Colin, the school is so close to Poland that his family will easily be able to see him play home games in person.
"Kent is far enough away, but still close," Reardon explained. "I come from a big family. There are five kids total plus my parents and grandparents so being close is important."
On those days Reardon is feeling a tad homesick, he will have another familiar person around campus to hang out with. Former Poland backfield mate Luke Wollet is a junior at Kent so the two can rekindle old friendships and share their super Bulldog success stories with new acquaintances.
"It will be exciting to get to play together again," Reardon shouted.
It was also exciting to watch Colin control the Poland offense for four years and now fans of the Flashes will get the opportunity to share some of that excitement too.