EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State defensive lineman Micajah Reynolds could’ve driven past the teenager bleeding on East Saginaw Street in Lansing. The panicked youth had been shot multiple times, including a head wound, in what police believe was part of a robbery.
However, Reynolds, whose first name translates to “great man of God,” did the godly thing. He pulled over his automobile in the early morning hours of July 31 and became a modern day Good Samaritan.
“Nobody else was around and he was bleeding pretty badly,” Reynolds told USA Today Sports on Monday, during MSU’s annual media day. “I whipped my car around in the middle of the street and jumped out and ran over to him and helped him out.
“I put pressure on his wounds and stuff. He had been shot in the head. I’ve still got my shirt and all my clothes over at the house that are completely drenched in his blood and stuff. Thank God he made it.”
Reynolds told me the story behind his first name last year.
“I was named after my fifth great-grandfather,” said Reynolds, who played high school ball at Lansing Sexton (Mich.). “He was actually a slave, and I believe he was in Virginia.
“My mom, Delilah, named me after him. He came from her side of the family, and the name means great man of God.
“I love it. It’s unusual. And you know what? I got on a Facebook group and found that there are actually 24 of us with this first name.”
It’s pronounced muh-KY-juh.
“But my teammates just call me ‘Khaj,'” Reynolds said with an easy smile.
He’s an active member of the Athletes in Action sports ministry on campus.
Reynolds, 6-foot-5, 307 pounds, is listed as the starting nose tackle for the Spartans, who open the season Aug. 30 at home with Western Michigan. He started six games last year at defensive tackle, making 19 tackles. Reynolds forced a fumble on a 14-yard sack against Minnesota.
He can bench press 495 pounds and run 40 yards in 4.95 seconds.
Reynolds is a rare combination of strength and speed, but his inner strength and compassion may have saved a life three days before football training camp began for the Spartans.