UNC quarterback Bryn Renner shares a past with N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon. PHOTO: Robert Willett
GREENSBORO — Don’t want to give too much away, because I made them the focal point of the story I just wrote off of Day One of the ACC’s annual preseason football kickoff, but North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner shares a lot in common with N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon.
Both are natives of northern Virginia. Both grew up playing basketball and football. Both competed against the other. Both went on to play collegiately at North Carolina schools. And both are part of perhaps deepest returning class of quarterbacks the ACC has ever seen.
Renner and Glennon spoke here on Sunday about the past they share, and how they recently reconnected on their way to the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana.
“We sat in the terminal together, and then we rode from the airport to the university together,” Glennon said. “Yeah, we definitely spent a lot of time together … We were just talking about how we killed them last year, and how he got sacked a lot against us. Just kind of talked about high school and all of that. And kind of just kind of caught up – normal football talk.”
Indeed, Glennon’s Wolfpack got the best of Renner’s Tar Heels when the two met a season ago at Carter-Finley Stadium, where N.C. State prevailed in a 13-0 victory. But the rivalry Renner and Glennon share dates back much farther than that, and both have had their moments.
Glennon’s high school team defeated Renner’s in the state high school football playoffs when Glennon was a senior (and Renner a junior) but Renner came through with perhaps the most impressive individual performance in a meeting between the two. It came in a junior varsity basketball game in which Renner said he scored 40 points against Glennon … some of them coming after Renner suffered a broken nose.
The story, according to Renner:
“I am a better basketball player, I’ll admit that. I was on the varsity team – this is a funny story – I was on the varsity team as a freshman. When we played his team, I got moved down to JV for a game. And I shot a 3-pointer, he came out and put his hand in my face and broke my nose. But I made the shot …”
Renner had to leave the game, he said, but he returned wearing a protective mask. And then finished with the 40 points.
Said Glennon: “I think he dropped a lot of points on me.”
Yep. Sounds like it’s possible, Mike.
Renner and Glennon started competing against one another in grade school, back when they played in competing youth basketball leagues. Their parents would drive them to the gym, Renner said, and the family cars would never be parked too far apart.
Now here they are, entering their second season as starting quarterbacks for rival schools. Renner and Glennon are two of the six returning ACC quarterbacks who threw for 3,000 yards last season. That’s a first in ACC history – returning that many quarterbacks who threw for 3,000 yards. They’re also two of the 11 returning starting quarterbacks in the conference.
The collective goal of all of them? To raise the profile of a league that has had difficulty gaining national traction during the BCS era. If the ACC doesn’t assert itself nationally this season, it’s not likely to be a result of suspect quarterback play. More on that in the story I wrote that will be posted online later tonight and in the paper in the morning. Stay tuned …