A few months ago, Bryn Renner was working in the cart barn at Traditions Golf Club in North Carolina. Now, he's the third-string quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.
Sounds pretty incredible, right? Well, there's a backstory here that once again proves that holding onto your dreams can sometimes pay off.
Renner was quarterback for the University of North Carolina and, after good seasons in 2011 and '12, had high hopes of getting his name called fairly early in the NFL draft. However, midway through his senior season, Renner suffered a shoulder injury that ended his year and his chances of getting drafted. Renner was signed by the Denver Broncos for 2014 but never saw any training camp action behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. He was released before the first roster cut.
A Virginia native, Renner decided to look for work and, as an avid golfer, thought a course would be a good place to start out. He worked 12-hour days in the cart barn, staging and cleaning and repairing the gas-powered vehicles.
“I’m not a guy that likes to sit around much,” Renner said to the Baltimore Ravens' website. “I worked 12-hour days just trying to occupy my mind. I just wanted to get away from football and wrap myself around something to do.”
Eventually, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League called Renner and gave him a chance. Then in November, the Ravens called, needing a quarterback to throw to some potential tight ends they were working out. They though Renner was in Virginia and would be a short drive away. After looking for a closer option than Renner in North Carolina and not finding one, they flew Renner up, and he did his thing well. In January, the Ravens called back, asking to sign Renner to a future-reserves deal.
After training camp, Renner finally got his chance to see game action on an NFL field, getting time against the New Orleans Saints. He led a game-winning drive in the preseason opener and has landed a spot on the practice squad as the third signal-caller on the depth chart, behind Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub, who was signed to a one-year deal in the offseason.
“We have a guy that loves football," said Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. "Bryn is highly intelligent. He’s quick-minded, can get the ball out of his hands, make some plays. He has showed he has a little bit of an ‘it’ factor.”