Things Heating Up for Renfrow

The recruiting trail is starting to heat up for Justin Renfrow, a junior defensive end/tight end out of William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. Renfrow has two written offers -- from Stanford and West Virginia. He said he was surprised to receive written offers before the end of his junior year, especially the offer he received from West Virginia, on Feb. 19.

"I had really just started talking to them [i.e., WVU] a few weeks after the (football) season ended," said Justin Renfrow, whose junior basketball season at Penn Charter ended in mid-February.

Renfrow attended camp at Rutgers last summer and plans to attend the Rutgers and West Virginia camps this year. He said he enjoyed his camp experience last year and liked the fact that he got to go against top competition.

"Instead of having (tight ends) go against linebackers who would be slow, they had us go against faster defensive backs," said Renfrow. "I was surprised that I did well." Renfrow attended Rutgers practices and games last season and said he gained insight into how the program is run.

"I've pretty much got a good feel from going to a couple of Rutgers games, how they coach. I like their intensity and like the way the coaches coach. They try to teach you," said Renfrow. "Even when I was there for camp, they try to teach you off the field as well as on it."

Renfrow said Rutgers is recruiting him mainly as a tight end after watching him perform well in 7-on-7 drills last year, but he will play wherever he fits in with a football program. He has had a chance to see former Rutgers tight end L.J. Smith in action, as he is a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and attends an Eagles game each fall for his birthday.

There are at least a half dozen schools showing interest in the 6-foot-6, 240-pound player. Renfrow said Louisville, Virginia, Boston College, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt are also on his radar, and Syracuse and Connecticut have reported interest. He has already taken two unofficial visits, one being to Rutgers, and he plans to visit Virginia, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Tennessee and other schools in the southern Mid-Atlantic this spring.

BC has a special connection with William Penn Charter, as former BC quarterback and soon-to-be NFL draft pick Matt Ryan played his high school days at Penn Charter, and Ryan's brother, John, is the current starting quarterback at PC.

"It's great seeing someone else do it," said Renfrow. "It also helps our program get more recognition and play better competition."

Penn Charter plays in the Inter-Academic League in the Philadelphia area and finished the 2007 season with a 5-4 record after starting the season 3-0. The Quakers won the Inter-AC league in 2006 and finished the season 8-2.

Renfrow said there is no clear-cut frontrunner for his services, though he said he likes Virginia because it has a solid business school and he is high on West Virginia's engineering program. Making the grade should not be a problem for Renfrow coming out of William Penn's rigorous academic environment, and he said he is weighing academics heavily into his college decision. He also wants to go to a program that has a good chance to win a conference championship.

"I'm looking for a good campus, a good atmosphere with a good football team, and a good academic program," said Renfrow, who was considering visiting Syracuse's junior day as well as spending time at spring practice with Connecticut and Rutgers.

Renfrow, whose 40-yard dash speed has been reported at 4.9 seconds, said he is spending the offseason lifting weights and trying to get faster. He said his lifting regimen is intended to tone his body and strengthen his core.

"That will help me a lot at defensive end," said Renfrow.

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