As part of our 2012 season preview, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC for this season, from 25 to one. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective, so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.
Last season, in just his first year as a starter, Renner was able to assemble a fairly gaudy stat line — nearly 3,100 yards and 26 touchdowns — yet very few people even noticed. Part of that could’ve been attributed to the ongoing NCAA violation issues plaguing the program (resulting in a one-year bowl ban), while star teammates Dwight Jones and Giovani Bernard also managed to grab some of the spotlight, too. But in 2012, enter new head coach Larry Fedora.
During his time at Southern Miss, Fedora established a fast-paced attack with minimal talent, averaging among the top 10 offensive snaps-per-game in the country over the past few seasons there. Now, with elite talent like Renner and Bernard, the coach has already prepared to establish a frantic, high-octane pace with the Heels, too. So far, it appears that Renner’s preparing himself with some inspired optimism, and is working extensively with coaches to make sure he truly gets the new system, versus the former pro-style attack.
The big keys to success will be how quickly and efficiently Renner can truly adapt to the no-huddle and begin making more decisions on the fly. While he’s already doing the legwork off-the-field to ease the transition, nothing helps prepare better than in-game action. Renner will deal with a bit of a learning curve, between the increased speed of progression and working with new featured receivers, but he’s got the talent to make it come together quickly. If everything clicks right, we could very well see most of T.J. Yates’ records from his time in Chapel Hill fall to Renner. Though again, he must be a quick study for all of this to come to fruition.