Quarterback storylines for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 are not exactly what you would consider scarce. There’s the debut of the heavily-hyped freshman Jameis Winston for the Florida State Seminoles. Then you have Tajh Boyd returning to the Clemson Tigers for his senior season to try and fulfill some pretty lofty aspirations, mainly capturing a national title. Speaking of seniors, Logan Thomas also returns to the Virginia Tech Hokies, where he will be out to prove that last season’s sub-par (putting this very lightly) performance was a fluke.
You can’t really go too far into any kind of conversation about the upcoming ACC football season without at least one of those three names being brought up. The funny part is, there is a good chance that neither of those athletes are even the best overall QB in the conference.
No. That distinction, after it’s all said and done, could wind up being bestowed upon North Carolina Tar Heels QB, Bryn Renner.
Renner, also a senior, will not only return to Chapel Hill in 2013 to try and prove this point, but he’s also returning to try and cap off some unfinished business from last season. The Tar Heels would have been the participant representing the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game, had NCAA sanctions not prevented that from happening.
But, 2013 could provide a bit of redemption for the senior, and also put him definitively at the top of the ACC QB list.
If Renner can replicate, or even surpass, his numbers from last season, that would be a great start. The Virginia native tossed for over 3300 yards last year with 28 touchdowns to accompany those–all while managing to throw just seven interceptions. With ten returning offensive starters, including dangerous receiving threats like Quinshad Davis, Mark McNeil and Sean Tapley, either replicating or surpassing last season isn’t entirely out of the question–which is a scary thought for the rest of the ACC.
What’s also scary is that all of that success in 2012 was under first-year head coach Larry Fedora. With that many starters returning to help transition into the second year of this offensive system, you’d have to imagine that the progression will be easily noticeable–especially in regards to Renner’s command of it.
As far as testing the theory of whether or not he is indeed the best signal caller in the conference, it won’t take long for us to see that.
Aug. 29, the Tar Heels travel to Williams-Brice Stadium to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks to start the season. If Renner can effectively find his way through one of the SEC‘s top defenses, it’s a foregone conclusion that people will begin to take notice. After that, the 2013 schedule for the Heels almost seems as if a trip to the ACC Title Game is there’s to lose.
With NFL scouts already looking ahead to how Renner’s abilities will translate to the next level, he first has to navigate his way through this college football season.
But, if he can indeed showcase anything remotely close to what some are expecting from this offense, a trip to the Orange Bowl may come before he heads off to begin his professional journey.