As part of our 2012 season review, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC this season, from no. 25 to no. 1. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective — and thus completely bulletproof, obviously — so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, too.
For a pro-style quarterback like Renner was up until the 2012 season, entering into a spread offense can be intimidating. And yet, the second head coach Larry Fedora arrived on campus at UNC, Renner seemed to jump right into his new role heading the fast-paced spread. The results, surprisingly, were an enormous improvement over his then-“breakout” sophomore campaign. In just 12 games, the junior logged 3,356 passing yards (up nearly 300 yards in one less game from last year) and 28 touchdowns (up two). The accuracy may have taken a hit, of course, with the spike in passing attempts (68.3-percent on 350 passes last year, 65.4-percent on 422 passes this year), but he also saw a big drop in interceptions (from 13 to 7) and sacks (26 to 11). If that’s any indication at all, Renner should spend his second season in Fedora’s spread continuing to grow as a passer. Expect the coach’s vision to start to really take hold in 2013, and I’d even be willing to toss his name into the Heisman conversation, so long as UNC’s eligible for the postseason (likely).