Up Close: Bryn Renner, Part II

SPRINGFIELD, Va. --- As soon as Bryn Renner had a solid list of options, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound quarterback decided to take the next step in his recruitment in an attempt to make an early verbal commitment.

"Once he had seven, eight offers, we ranked them before baseball started," said Bill Renner, West Springfield's head football coach and Bryn's father. "I wanted him to visit his No. 1 unofficially first, so he would have a litmus test for anyone else that would have offered."

Bryn Renner
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At that point, North Carolina was the top school on Bryn's list. Thus, the Renners contacted John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and then headed south to Chapel Hill on March 26th to take in a UNC spring practice session.

During the four-hour drive to Chapel Hill, committing wasn't on Bryn's mind – but it wasn't out of the question.

"I approached it with an open mind," Bryn said. "I knew I really liked North Carolina – they were my No. 1 overall. So I thought if I saw what I thought I would see I knew it would be the right place for me.

"I watched practiced, stayed there basically the whole day, and enjoyed it. It was one of the best times of my life. I just felt that was the place I needed to go."

Before leaving campus that day, Bryn verbally committed to UNC.

The earliness of Bryn's pledge, which he adamantly claims is firm, caught many by surprise.

"We've talked about other schools that have been sending him letters and what if they offered you," Coach Renner said. "We have gone through the whole process. I think people really didn't understand what we've been doing to end the process, because they felt like it was so early.

"And I think some of the reason was, because he didn't play quarterback as a freshman and sophomore. He kind of just burst onto the scene here as a junior and some people didn't have him on their radar as a quarterback."

Prior to his deal sealing visit to UNC, the Renners unofficially visited Maryland, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

In January, Virginia Tech became the first school to offer Bryn a scholarship. Michigan State extended a scholarship offer shortly thereafter.

Things really picked up after Bryn attended the Air 7 Quarterback University, a camp spearheaded by quarterback guru Tom Martinez, conducted in late February on UNC's campus.

"Afterwards I met with Coach Shoop and that's when they offered me," Bryn said. "They saw me there and watched me throw a little bit."

Coach Renner said: "They really liked how he threw and they really liked his athleticism. I think when you see him, that's what sticks out at you – how athletic he is; as evidenced by the fact that he plays basketball and baseball and is really good at those, too.

"I think in this day and age, when you're playing defenses that are so fast, the more athletic guy you have at quarterback just the better chance you have of him making a play if the play breaks down."

Being on campus for a couple of days provided Bryn a chance to really take in the campus atmosphere.

"I saw a lot and I like the campus," Bryn said. "Being down there for two and a half days, I got really used to it down there. And I really, really enjoyed the time I was down there. I thought that definitely was where I would love to go to."

After returning home, Bryn collected offers from Maryland, Ohio, Wake Forest, and West Virginia.

The importance of Bryn's Virginia Tech connection apparently was overblown.

"I wasn't really a fan, but both of my parents went there," Renner said. "So I have a little background, a lot of family history, a lot of family connections, [but] I wasn't really a fan. [Growing up] I didn't really like teams, I more followed players."

Additionally, Bryn didn't feel any pressure from his father to follow in his footsteps and select Virginia Tech.

"He needed to be his own person," Coach Renner said. "I went through my experience. I know how important it is for the person going through the experience to make their own decision, because they're the ones that have to live with that.

"I gave him advice on what to look for, how to feel, and helped him sort out his feelings."

And during the next five years when Virginia Tech and UNC play against one another, Coach Renner plans to cheer against his alma mater.

"Obviously, I'm rooting for my son no matter what," Coach Renner said. "I think it will be ok. I've been gone from Tech for a long time. I don't think they care much more about me so my allegiance is to my son and Carolina now."

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