One of those players in Colin Renton, a 6-foot, 200-pound linebacker with 4.65 speed in the 40-yard dash and an aggressive on-field attitude. With a drive to compete and improve his game, Renton is looking forward to attending the Academy after a stop in Newport, Rhode Island this fall, and said that becoming a Navy SEAL is his ultimate goal after graduation. I caught up with Renton recently, and learned why the highly sought after high school linebacker chose Navy out of The Woodlands (TX) high school this past January.
Adam Nettina: (AN): Tell us about your recruitment during high school. Which schools were recruiting you, and which ones offered you scholarships? Why did you ultimately decide to commit to Navy?
Colin Renton (CN): My recruitment was personally pretty exciting because of all the attention I was getting from my favorite schools. Once I was an All-District and All-County player, the mail really started stacking up. I received offers from Army, Air Force, and Navy but I was also talking to Colorado State, North Dakota State, Northwestern, Princeton, and Yale. My decision to commit to Navy was really pretty easy because they have a great football program and I have wanted to go there for many years.
AN: In your mind, what set Navy apart from its fellow service academies Air Force and Army?
CR: I really respect the other academies but I've been in the Navy mindset for quite a while. I think a lot of it had to do with my love of the ocean. I sail whenever I can and I recently became a certified scuba diver.
AN: Which coach from Navy recruited you? How influential was he in your decision to attend the Naval Academy?
CR: Coach Dan O'Rourke is the recruiter for my area. He was very instrumental in keeping me informed about the recruiting process. I feel very comfortable talking to him about my goals and expectations.
AN: Have you met any of your future Navy teammates yet? What are your impressions on the incoming class of football recruits?
CR: Sort of. One of the incoming Navy recruits played on an opposing high school team. Since he is a running back and I am a linebacker, we got the chance to go head to head on the field. My initial impression of the incoming class is that we are a very strong class with the opportunity to do great things.
AN: In high school, you played in a 3-4 defense similar to what Buddy Green runs at Navy. Will you be playing outside linebacker at Navy? What have the coaches told you about your future role on the team?
CR: My understanding is that I will be playing outside linebacker at Navy. However, I'm more than willing to step into any position where they need me. The coaches have the expectation for me to be an impact player and that's exactly what I want to be.
AN: What do your think your greatest strengths are as a football player? What part (or parts) of your game would you like to improve on before coming to the FBS level of competition?
CR: One trait that's been mentioned about me many times is my ‘coachability.' I listen intently and learn quickly because it's important to learn the role that the coaches want you to play on the team. As I grow into the next level of player, I'd like to continue improving my physical strength and overall speed. I'm strong but can get stronger. I'm fast but can get faster.
AN: What aspect of playing football at Navy are you most looking forward to?
CR: I can't wait to experience the tradition of Navy football. I've heard about it, read about, and watched it on TV. None of that can compare to experiencing the tradition and brotherhood first hand.
AN: What is it about the military component of USNA that attracted you to the school? Is serving in the military something you've always wanted to do? Are you interested in a specific job in the Navy after graduation?
CR: My grandfather was a Major in the Marine Corps and I always enjoyed his stories about the military life. I've wanted to be in the military since at least age 11. Ultimately, I'm working towards becoming a Navy Seal. These men are the ultimate example of what I want to achieve.
AN: What are you interested in majoring in once you get to USNA? Any particular reason?
CR: I'm keeping my options open going into the Academy but, right now, I'm leaning towards Economics or Ocean Engineering. I think Economics is important so I can have a better understanding and impact on the economy. However, Ocean Engineering is an easy choice because I simply love the ocean.
AN: Finish the sentence. The one thing Navy fans should know about me is…
CR: Everyone around me knows this already but I'd like for the Navy fans to know that I'm a very hard worker. I'm very dedicated to winning and I pour my heart and soul into that goal. For me, just enough effort is never enough.
Renton's senior highlights: