It’s no secret that the spread option offense requires speed. The offense requires the entire width of the field and a lot of mobility at each position. That includes the quarterback. If Coach Fedora plans on installing this offense then red shirt Junior Bryn Renner is going to have to be prepared to improvise on the run. Now Renner is by no means slow. He has posted 40 times anywhere between 4.70 and 4.79 which is one to two seconds slower than his speedy predecessor from 2001 Ronald Curry who posted a low 40 of 4.59.
Curry set UNC records for career passing and all purpose yards during his tenure in Chapel Hill meaning that he had the instinct to hit the holes in the defense. Those holes were created by his ability to pass the football, which we already know Renner is quite capable at, but were exploited by quickness and agility. Now Renner can tuck the ball and run for the chains, but the main question I have for him is will he be able to do it as part of a designed scheme.
If you look at the big time college programs that run the spread, they all have fast athletic quarterbacks know for burning defensive secondaries with their speed. Bryn will have to be the type of QB able to get down field at a very fast pace. I think of the kind of potential the spread can bring to a Tar Heel quarterback and I think of Ronald Curry’s 62 yard scamper to pay dirt against Auburn in the 2001 Peach Bowl.
The elusiveness he showed once the pocket collapsed and the blocking down field provided by his receivers really made the play and the payoff was a 16-0 lead midway through the third quarter. Curry was able to make that play in a pro style format. It’s unbelievable to me what Tar Heel QB’s could do in an offense designed for those type of plays to exist.
Bryn Renner may not have supreme speed down the sideline or in the open field, especially with how much the speed of defensive secondaries has evolved over the years, but if he can make the right reads and pick up his blocks he can accelerate enough to turn a broken play into a 20 yard gain. If he can become the type of runner that the spread offense requires at his position, then I can only imagine how much pressure he’ll be able to take off of running back Gio Bernard who is already an 1,000 rusher to begin with.
Having a serious dual threat QB could really make the Tar Heels a dangerous team on the ground this upcoming season and would really cause game planning nightmares for opposing coaches. We all remember Bryn only throwing for over 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns a season ago during his first year as a starter. Impressive stats to be sure, but imagine what he can do on the field if he becomes a running threat. The sky is the limit.