Player Spotlights

Bryn Renner Aims for ‘Heir Apparent’ Tag


With offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt attending Memphis QB Paxton Lynch’s Pro Day last week, it’s clear the Chargers are curious about finding a developmental quarterback to sit behind 34-year-old Philip Rivers … as they should be.

Rivers’ backup, Kellen Clemens, will turn 33 in June and is on a one-year deal. Brad Sorenson, who was the last quarterback the Chargers drafted back in 2013, has yet to cement himself on the roster.

Tom Telesco will at least window shop for a quarterback in the draft later this month, and there are some intriguing prospects available. However, the Chargers may have already found their ideal developmental quarterback prospect in Bryn Renner.

Signed in March, the 26-year-old North Carolina product has been signed to four teams over the past three seasons. Still, Renner has shown enough potential in college and limited preseason play to warrant multiple looks by NFL teams.

Prior to suffering a detached labrum and a fractured shoulder that derailed his senior year at UNC, Renner flashed a decent arm, above-average athleticism and pro-level accuracy. In 34 collegiate appearances, he completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 8,221 yards, 64 TDs and 25 INTs.

Not only was Renner named to the Maxwell Award watch list prior to his senior year, but also drew compliments by noted draft analyst Mike Mayock, who called the six-foot-three, 225-pound quarterback “polished” in a 2013 article.

Renner’s collegiate success shows potential and the Chargers have had varying success in the recent past with former ACC standouts like Rivers and Charlie Whitehurst.

Of course, chances are Renner will be more like 2015 camp arm Chase Rettig than Rivers, but there are enough similarities between Rivers and Renner to warrant some intrigue.

Like Rivers, Renner is also the son of a high school football coach, Bill Renner, who is also a former NFL punter for the Green Bay Packers. Also, like Rivers, Renner claimed his share of ACC records, setting the ACC’s single-game completion percentage mark (95.7) in 2011 and ending his career with the third-highest career completion percentage in conference history.

Similar to Rivers, Renner’s most impressive attribute may not be his accuracy or production, but is his ability to overcome adversity.

In 2015, Renner overcame a bad interception to lead the Ravens on an 80-yard, two-minute drive to beat the Saints, 30-27, in the first NFL preseason game of his career. He would go on to complete 66.2 percent of his passes for 409 yards and four touchdowns with the Ravens.

This was Renner’s first significant time playing football since his shoulder injury in 2013.

Prior to joining the Ravens in January of last year, Renner had found himself cleaning golf carts at the Chapel Ridge Golf Club for most of the 2014 season after failing to make an impression with the Broncos in training camp.

It’s good that Renner has a track record of overcoming obstacles, because it will be a long and practically insurmountable journey to become more than just another camp arm for the Chargers.

But, then again, stranger things have happened.

About Trenton Villanueva

A San Diego native, Trenton Villanueva graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a minor in the hydraulic principles of the keg. Prior to writing for SDBR, he covered sports news for FanSided and wrote music reviews for the San Diego State Daily Aztec.

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