Cougars Evaluating Washington Lineman

With a few members of BYU's coaching staff having been in the state of Washington earlier in the week, they've taken the opportunity to drop by a few schools to check on some of the top talent in the area. BYU running back coach Lance Reynolds went to watch an LDS lineman in the area.

Coming in at 6 feet 5 inches and 280 pounds, Christian Rennie doesn't mince words when it comes to where he wants to play football. The Issaquah High School lineman is hoping the Cougar coaching staff will pull the trigger and offer him.

"BYU has been my favorite team since I was two years old," said Rennie. "It's the dream to get a BYU scholarship and play there. My grandpa played there, and my great grandpa played there, and I would like to play there. The high level of competition and the standards they set you can't find anywhere else. Coach Mendenhall is just an amazing coach and an amazing person. BYU is just so different than any other college in the country with how they mix religion and football."

Rennie was present at the fireside last Sunday that was conducted by current and past members of the Cougar program, including coaches Lance Reynolds and Bronco Mendenhall, and former quarterback Matt Berry. Rennie came away very impressed with the stories he heard at the gathering.

"Well, I went to the fireside last Sunday and I was just really impressed with how the football team is involved with things like that," said Rennie.

While up in Washington for the fireside, the coaches took the opportunity to go get a look at some of the state's prospects, of which Rennie was one.

"Then Coach Reynolds came down to my school on Tuesday to talk to my coach," said Rennie. "BYU has sent a packet to me and I have to send some film down to them, but I've gotten letters from them and stuff. So they talked to my coach but I didn't get the chance because of the rules and stuff. My coach told me that they must be looking at me because the package they sent to me was sent by express mail, so my coach sent down some game film on me yesterday. My coach seems very optimistic about it."

Also present at the fireside was quarterback Jake Heaps from Sky Line High School, Issaquah's rival. Despite the fact that they were both at the fireside, as well as the fact that their teams have played against each other, Rennie and Heaps have yet to meet personally.

"[Heaps is] a smart player and he's mechanically sound," said Rennie. "He also has really good receivers on his team as well. I'd like to meet him and introduce myself to get to know him a little better."

Rennie, meanwhile, helps out Issaquah by playing multiple positions.

"Last year I played every single game at left tackle and I love playing on the o-line," Rennie said. "That's where I'm most comfortable, but this year I'll also play defensive tackle as well."

As for the offensive side of the ball, the Issaquah Eagles utilize a system that requires their players to be multidimensional.

"We run 50 percent pass and 50 percent run, so you have to be able to do both things really well," said Rennie. "We are going to have a pretty big line next year and some pretty good running backs to go with a smart quarterback. We have a pretty explosive offensive team and should be a contending team next year, definitely."

Being a great lineman requires more than just size and strength, and Rennie said he feels he has the other qualities that are important for playing on the offensive line.

"I'm a very smart player," said Rennie. "I didn't have any false start penalties at all last year. I know where to be and I'm a really good pass blocker and can run block as well. I probably need to work on being more aggressive and I'm definitely stepping that up this year."

In addition to BYU taking a look at Rennie, the Air Force Academy has evaluated him and offered him a scholarship. Along with those two MWC programs, many Pac-10 schools are also in the process of evaluating or recruiting the big Issaquah lineman.

"The University of Washington is also looking at me, and Oregon [is too]," said Rennie. "There are quite a few Pac-10 schools looking at me right now. There have been a few coaches that have come up to talk to my coach.

"The University of Washington has come up, [and] Oregon and [Arizona State have] called my coach. Washington State has been in the weight room a couple of times. They all want to see some film during the season, so after my first two games of my senior season, I'm going to send these teams a tape because they want to do an in-season evaluation. I guess we'll see what happens after that."

Rennie currently squats 420 pounds, bench presses 230 pounds, and has a clean of 230 pounds. He plans on going down to BYU's padded camp this summer, where he will showcase his talents for the Cougar coaching staff.

"I'm expecting there to be a lot of really good athletes down there, and I know I'll have to play at the top of my game to prove that I belong down there," said Rennie. "It's going to be a great experience."

Though they now live in Issaquah, Rennie and his family originally hail from Holiday, Utah.

"I used to live in Holiday by Salt Lake," Rennie said. "My grandparents have season tickets so I usually catch one game in Provo every year."

Rennie, whose birthday is in April, said he plans on attending college for two semesters before serving a mission.

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