Up Close: Bryn Renner, Part I

SPRINGFIELD, Va. --- Not many high school programs can say they've produced an ACC quarterback. West Springfield has produced back-to-back ACC gunslingers – Virginia's Peter Lalich and Bryn Renner, who verbally committed to North Carolina in late March.

"They both have talent – there's no question about that. They can throw the football," said Bill Renner, West Springfield's head football coach and Bryn's father. "I think when that happens it's your job as a coach to put them in a position to be successful… I think it's a combination of having a good system, but I think it starts with talented players and good people, and those two people are that."

Bryn Renner
Junior Season Highlights:

West Springfield wasn't always an environment where quality passers could flourish. After years of reaching the district championship but falling short of a victory with a dominate running attack, Coach Renner decided to change up West Springfield's offensive scheme for the 2005 season.

"I felt like for us to get over the hump we needed to throw the ball very well – kind of do something different," Coach Renner said. "It ended up being really good timing. It was an obvious thing to watch Peter throw the football and realize he was gifted at that. So we started building the system for his talent. And then Bryn stepped in and could do the same thing."

The elder Renner built an offensive system he refers to as "five-wide, attack offense." The concept is similar to the spread passing offense employed by Mike Leach at Texas Tech. The offense nearly always lines up in some variation of the shotgun formation and never has more than one running back in the backfield.

"The thing that we do that's a little different and unique is we've made a total commitment to five guys going out for passes," Coach Renner said. "Some people send three or four or five and vary that, and I think that's a little passive aggressive. We're totally aggressive. They know when we drop back to pass, they better find five receivers. That makes it different in high school, because they're not used to doing that."

As a two-year starter, Lalich ended his high school career with 5,805 yards and 55 touchdowns. However, he was only able to post a 9-11 record in two years.

Prior to entering high school, the younger Renner had exclusively played quarterback. With Lalich under center, Renner spent his first two high school seasons at wide receiver.

"We needed five guys that could catch, because we run an offense that sends five guys out on pass routes every time. And Bryn always had good hands – he's a baseball player [and] basketball player," Coach Renner said. "So when he was one of the top guys that can catch a football, he became one of the five receivers.

"I also think it's really good that your backup quarterback play another position when you're high school. I don't think it does much for their athletic development or their competitive mindset in the game of football to sit on the bench."

Lalich also doubled as a receiver for his freshman and sophomore seasons, while also serving as West Springfield's backup quarterback.

Renner's tenure at wide receiver included an all-region sophomore season in which he caught 54 passes for 800 yards and nine touchdowns. Also, he gained a different viewpoint of the game.

"I think it was fun to play [receiver], because I'm an athlete and I like to compete, so I wanted to be on the field," Bryn said. "I think there was a lot of benefit. You get more adept to the game and what a receiver feels like when the quarterback has the ball."

When Renner stepped in for the departed Lalich last fall, the West Springfield offense didn't skip a beat. Renner ended his junior season with 2,749 yards, 32 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions on 214-of-339 passing (63-percent).

"I had to get into the flow again [after playing receiver for two years]," Bryn said. "I just had to get more throws in, and get my timing down with the receivers."

Renner also picked up 598 yards and ten touchdowns on 124 rushes. But he isn't your typical dual-threat quarterback.

"My philosophy is: if I call a pass, I want the ball in the air, period," Bill said. "So he's not looking to run at all. He runs when they force him out of the pocket. He'll keep the play alive in the pocket as long as he can."

More importantly, West Springfield posted a 10-3 record and won its district as Bryn proved to be the perfect quarterback for its offensive system.

"He's a competitive, playmaker," Bill said. "He's very intense when the ball is snapped. He has a real good arm, but he pulls it down and makes plays."

Check back tomorrow for Part II ...

Bryn Renner Profile

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