Bryn Renner has Sunday stuff
Posted May 7, 2013
Updated May 10, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — For a perennially mediocre football conference, the ACC regularly has cranked out productive NFL quarterbacks.
Exhibit A in that regard is North Carolina State University, a program void of a conference championship since 1979 and prone to recurring coaching turnover.
Yet when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Mike Glennon in the third round of last month’s NFL Draft, the Wolfpack became positioned to extend a professional quarterback legacy that began with Roman Gabriel in the early 1960s and has included Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson of late.
At the opposite end of the ACC extreme is North Carolina, which routinely grooms early-round picks, including first-rounders Jonathan Cooper (offensive line) and Sylvester Williams (defensive line) in 2103. But at quarterback, the Tar Heels have made less impact than some junior colleges. Other than Houston backup T.J. Yates, who went in the fifth round in 2011, the Tar Heels have virtually no NFL quarterback footprint at all.
It’s a trend that’s both uncanny and almost unfailing.
Shortly after that 2011 draft, Yates said he didn’t believe in what has been called the “Carolina QB Jinx.”
“I’d rather think about the chance of being the one to break the ice,” said Yates, who relieves former Virginia star Matt Schaub with the Texans.
Rising senior Bryn Renner will begin the 2013 season with an opportunity to give the Tar Heels a second NFL quarterback.
At 6 feet 3 inches, 225 pounds and capable of fitting into pocket and read offensive schemes, Renner will be on every NFL team’s must-see list.
The ACC’s top preseason quarterback prospect is Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (6-2, 225), and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas (6-6, 255) will get a good deal of NFL scouting attention if for no other reason than his size.
But with the Tar Heels beginning the season at powerful South Carolina (Thursday, Aug. 29, 6 p.m.), Renner will have an immediate chance to establish himself as an NFL factor.
That early attention is also fairly rare for UNC quarterbacks. Having thrown 37 interceptions during his first three seasons, Yates began his senior season as a long shot to get drafted at all. He responded with 19 touchdown passes (nine interceptions) in 2010 and worked his way up the pecking order in a talented, crowded quarterback pool that included Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker and Andy Dalton among others.
Renner, Boyd and Thomas could all benefit from what is generally expected to be a second season without a flashy quarterback class. Other than 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who will be redshirt sophomore at Texas A&M, Georgia senior Aaron Murray and Alabama senior A.J. McCarron, there’s not a big glamour factor nationally entering the season.
If Renner can stay healthy, he should be Sunday bound.