Friday, August 6, 2010

Renner impressive at UNC, will push for starting job at QB

Bryn Renner, UNC quarterback
Just watch North Carolina’s quarterbacks for a moment in practice, and you can tell Bryn Renner has a polish to his game that’s hard to define. It’s the way he rolls out of the pocket, the way he throws, the light touch he puts on the ball when he hits a back on a flare route. When you watch the UNC quarterbacks, you automatically think, “That Renner kid will start.”

T.J. Yates, by comparison, appears almost jerky compared to Renner’s fluid style. Carolina’s first practice was Friday afternoon in the heat, and there was plenty that jumped out from a day of watching the Heels.

Running back Ryan Houston looks leaner quicker and Carl Gaskins has a chance to shine at left tackle. And A.J. Blue is running after last season’s devastating knee injury. But the biggest impact on this team could come from Renner, and don’t be surprised in the least if he grabs the starting job for the opener against LSU.

In fact, one reporter who has been around UNC for years is confident Renner will start – and could emerge as one of the better quarterbacks the Heels have ever had.

Now, Carolina has never been blessed with great quarterbacks, so it’s not like BYU or Southern Cal, but this much is clear – having an efficient performer at quarterback would make a world of difference for UNC.

Renner entered Carolina a lean 185 pounds and is now 217. He said he is still mastering the playbook and still working on throwing back to his left. He’s smart enough to say, when it comes to whether he’ll start, “I’ll leave that up to the coaches.”

But the fact that this is even an option says plenty about this talent. He completed 15 of 21 throws for 184 yards in the spring game, and when you watch him you can tell he looks like a polished quarterback. He was a SuperPrep All-America and ranked the No. 6 quarterback in the country by ESPN.com out of West Springfield (Va.) High.

Like others on the Carolina offense, he has heard and read how that unit is the weak link of this Tar Heel team.

“As an offense, we’re thinking, ‘We’ll prove you wrong,’” he said.

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