Bryn Renner, 2013 ACC Football Player of the Year

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

OK folks, just roll with what is being tossed out there for a second and let it marinate before Tahj Boyd has more game in one of his armbands than Bryn Renner’s got in his whole body.

Boyd is the leader in the clubhouse for sure and will have a chance to shine brightly on the big stage for the Clemson Tigers way more than Renner will for the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2013. Right? Let’s take a breath and think about it for a second.

North Carolina opens up the 2013 season on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks, who will be one of the seven team ranked in the BCS Top 10 from the SEC to start the season. This will be the first meeting between the two border rivals since 2007, so a lot will be on the line, to say the least, for the Tar Heels and ACC Football.

That’s where Renner enters stage left. So far the kid, also known as The Gunner, is the first player in Carolina football history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in his first two seasons as a starter. He had a Quarterback Rating of 159.8 his first season and followed that with a rating of 150.9 in 2012. He has tossed 54 touchdowns and only has 20 picks in his career (26 and 13 in 2011 and 28 and seven in 2012).

Add all that and dump it in a big ole bowl of a huge Thursday Night ESPN College Football Kickoff and what better way for Renner to stake his claim as the Top QB in the ACC than a 300-plus yard, two-touchdown ACC upset of the SEC on the road?

That is a lot of what ifs for sure, but the numbers do not lie on The Gunner. He has stepped into the starting role and improved in a new offensive scheme in his the first year under head coach Larry Fedora. So as the UNC offense puts up video game like numbers this coming season, don’t be surprised if you see Renner and not Boyd atop the ACC individual leader-board.

Crazier things have happened and College Football always has one quarterback come out of nowhere and jump in the Heisman Trophy race. It might as well be Renner in 2013.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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