Regardless of draft fate, Renner optimistic about future
Posted May 2
Chapel Hill, N.C. — If you go by current projections, Bryn Renner isn’t likely to get selected during next week’s NFL draft in New York.
But if you know Bryn Renner, you also know his draft fate alone won’t keep him from playing in the NFL.
The former UNC quarterback hasn’t caught a decent career break since his days at West Springfield (Va.) High School, but nothing has overwhelmed him - not even a shoulder injury and surgery last season with the Tar Heels.
“I’ve learned that adversity can be a healthy part of life,” Renner said. “If I don’t get drafted, it’s something I will deal with and do everything in my power to overcome.
“And really, whether you get drafted first or not at all, you still have to prove yourself. You have to show you can do the job.”
Renner was signed to play at Carolina by Butch Davis but wound up playing for two more head coaches - interim Everett Withers in 2011 and Larry Fedora in ’12 and ‘13.
Few quarterbacks in ACC history have been forced to make more system adjustments and yet, Renner responded positively. In 34 games, he completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 8,221 yards and 64 touchdowns. He did throw 25 interceptions, but 13 of those were in 2011, his first season as a starter.
“Everyone has ups and downs, especially in football,” Renner said. “But you know what, I wouldn’t change anything about my time at Carolina even if had the chance to go back and do it. I cherish every minute I was there. I really do. I went to a great school. I graduated, made great friends and had some important learning experiences about live as much as football.”
Renner’s final bad break came during Carolina’s 27-19 win at NC State on Nov. 2 last year. A left shoulder injury that he suffered in the second half required surgery, ending his career seven games into his senior season.
At the time, Renner was rated among the top 10 professional quarterback prospects but gradually slipped as the season’s final weeks progressed.
He’s now rated in the 15-20 range, but Renner is convinced he’s a better passer now than before the injury.
“I went to California to work for three months with (QB guru) Ted Tollner, who really helped me in a lot of ways. I gained 10 pounds and threw the ball better than I ever have,” Renner said.
Renner’s pro day performance was impressive enough to land a visit with the Minnesota Vikings, but there are no guarantees.
“Either way, I’m not going to watch (the draft),” he said. “I’m going to do something - play golf with my dad and some of my friends or spend time with my girlfriend or something.
“I’ve just never been the kind of person to watch those things. I want to get on the field and play. I’ve always preferred getting out there and playing over watching. If I get drafted, great. If I get a shot somewhere as a free agent, great. I’m going to give it everything I have either way.”