To fully understand where he’s come from – and where he’s going – one must take a trip back to the beginning, when it all started.
Early Career & High School
For Billy, football came naturally to him at a young age. He was surrounded by family members who played and loved the game, so it made sense for him to begin pursuing it early on.
Billy Reagins attended Kempner High School in Sugar Land, Texas. He ended up serving as one of the top running backs in school history, but it started on a unique note.
“Not a lot of people know this, but my first game at Kempner we played Pearland High School. They were just coming off of the Championship last year. I watched my school get obliterated. It was like 70-0 at halftime. At the time, Kempner was a rebuilding program. Being there for those moments made me question my love for football.”
Reagins quickly found himself finding a groove as a running back. “At running back, I had a certain job where if I could make a play, it really got the team going.“ When it comes to making plays, this was something Billy did often – earning two time First Team District Running Back honors.
“When I realized that running back was for me, was when I had to play some of those tough defenses – units that were gritty. At the end of the day, you have to play smash mouth football, and be physical. Some old school coaches will look to run the ball against those types of defenses, and I love being that guy. A lot of people don’t like doing that, but it’s something I’ve come to enjoy.”
Smash mouth football is exactly what Billy Reagins produced in high school. Due to his success, he garnered some legitimate interest from colleges across the country. It began to dawn on Reagins that football was something he could pursue professionally.
“It really hit me after my sophomore year. I studied a lot of film. As a big back, people hate that I also have footwork and speed. Those who saw me purely as a power back realized that they had to catch me, too. My work ethic really kicked in as well. I remember, it was around 2015-2016, some of my teammates and I (including Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb) sat down together to talk. We knew what we were capable of, and wanted to take things to the next level. For me, it was about impacting more than just the game of football.”
Fresh out of high school, Billy had some decisions to make. He was primed for success, and needed to ensure that he took the right steps in reaching his goals. This led him to attend the University of Northern Colorado, where he earned Scout Team Player of the Year.
“Going to Northern Colorado was a great decision. Going there really helped me understand if I loved the game or not, honestly. For those who play the game of football, things don’t always go your way. You just got to be a man, and be a professional through it all.”
Billy decided to make an abrupt change next season, transferring to Howard Payne University. This was an adjustment, going from a D1 school to D3.
“People forget that in Texas, no matter what division the school might be in, the football is always played at a high level. A lot of times when I tell my story, people will ask how the transition was from D1 to D3. To be honest, I’ve seen tons of D2, D3, and JUCO athletes work harder than D1 guys. College football is not easy to win at any level. It’s all about embracing the grind, fighting together with your brothers, and making an impact.”
They tried to leave me in the dark … All I did was let my light shine ✍🏾💼
Things took a turn for the worse at Howard Payne. Billy tore his ACL during the 2020-2021 season, which put a halt on the momentum he was building.
During a game against McMurray, Reagins ripped off a 40 yard run on 2nd and 15. Unfortunately, a defender came down awkwardly on his leg, which resulted in the tear. While he miraculously finished the game – playing through the injury – he eventually had to call it quits for about nine months to recover.
“When I tore my ACL, it was a big reality check for me. I wasn’t able to produce on the field anymore, and was stuck in rehab and training. Thankfully I had the right people around me and in my corner, because I was challenging myself.”
Finding a way to come back from an ACL tear is no easy task. We’ve seen similar injuries hamper hundreds of professional athletes and their careers. That being said, Billy would not take no for an answer. His mental fortitude and determination to get through it all is remarkable:
“Luckily I had a great team of doctors around me, and an excellent rehab team. I really want to shout out them, because they helped me a lot mentally. Some days, I’d be going through it. Their encouragement was key. Sometimes in life, that’s all we need. It can feel like it’s all crashing down. But, all you gotta do is take a breath, and get yourself right. During this time, I just prayed, and put in work. I would wake up extra early to get treatment in, and then watch my film so I could critique myself. That mindset helped me get through to the other side.”
In 2022, Billy Reagins had a breakout year for Howard Payne University. He rushed for 496 yards and six touchdowns while sharing reps, and was a Second Team All-Conference Selection.
Coming off his senior season at Howard Payne, Billy Reagins played in the Champions Indoor Football League, serving as the lone running back for the Southwest Kansas Storm. He was excellent in the CIF, leading the team with 336 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
“I went into the CIF with high expectations for myself. But, I also went there to learn. Indoor football is a different game. I got to play with a lot of guys who had touched the NFL, or made it to the next level already. Going in, I was looking to be a student of the game. Arena football is a great thing to have, with the ability to play football year round. I really enjoyed it.”
– Top 5 in rushing yards (336)
– Top 5 in All-Purpose yards (859)
– only CIF running back to be top 5 in AP yards
After an impressive stint in the CIF, Billy Reagins now shifts his focus to the journey that lies ahead.
Future Plans & Goals
Of course, the ultimate goal for Billy Reagins is to make an NFL roster. However, he is fully aware of the process it’s going to take to get to that point. For Billy, it’s more than just football. It’s about making a positive impact on the world around him, while being able to pursue what he loves.
“I want to be more than just a football player. As athletes, we take our athletic drive and mindset and apply that to our real lives as well, so it creates good habits. It’s about inspiring others along the way. I definitely want to make my way to the NFL, and go out there and prove I can do it. I also want to spotlight the O-Line, and show them some love. Without them, the game wouldn’t be possible. As a running back, I’m always next to the big guys. I work out with these guys all the time – their work ethic is different.”
So far, Reagins has garnered interest from multiple USFL and XFL teams, which is an excellent step in the right direction. The world of alternative football is in a golden age, with limitless opportunities for players such as Billy to further their professional careers. Reagins says “As an athlete, I’m just grateful to continue to keep playing this game. It ain’t easy. I’m blessed and thankful, honestly.”
While his future is a bit uncertain when it comes to where he’ll be playing in 2024, things are looking as bright as ever. Even then, Reagins is making sure to keep himself in check, staying ready for whatever might come his way down the road.
“Something I’ve learned along the way is that it’s a numbers game. You need a good team around you. You also need good people surrounding you, giving off that positive energy. There are going to be days where you get tested. You gotta have faith in yourself – and see it when nobody else does. No matter what anyone says, I’m going to show up and perform, because I’m simply being me. It’s okay to be different, and unique. Just keep shining your light.”
We’re excited to see what the future holds for Billy Reagins and his football career. The sky is the limit, and with his work ethic, anything is possible. Stay tuned – Reagins is a name you’ll likely hear called often in spring football during the coming seasons.
What are your thoughts on Billy Reagins’ football journey so far? Which team do you want to see him play for? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!