We've got just 13 days (that's UNDER two weeks) until kickoff, so today I'll highlight the player that wears the #13 jersey on the Bronco roster—Blake Renaud
#13, Blake Renaud, Senior, LB
Weight: 255 lbs.
High School: De La Salle High School, Concord, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Landing Renaud in the 2011 recruiting class was a huge coup for the Bronco defense. Playing out of California powerhouse De La Salle, Renaud was ranked as the 20th best MLB recruit in the country. As a senior, Blake was named first-team All-East Bay Athletic League—an honor he garnered as a junior as well. As a sophomore, Renaud was named second team all-conference. All told, Renaud was named to 12 different all-star teams or lists during his career, including the All-Metro team, the ESPNU 150 Class of 2011 Watch List, the CalHi Sports All-State First Team, and the Junior Class All-America Second Team. Renaud chose the Broncos over offers from Oregon State, Minnesota, and Ohio.
Because his last name is pronounced "Reno", you see.
Oberyn "Red Viper" Martell
Played in 10 games for the Broncos in 2013. Led team with The Hammer for inaugural game of 2013. Played in all 13 games for the Broncos in 2012 as special teamer and linebacker. Carried the hammer on 5 separate occasions in 2012 and eventually received the "Hammer" award at year-end banquet. Played in 10 games for the Broncos as a true freshman in 2011, registering 10 tackles and a forced fumble. CalHi Sports All-State Seniors First Team in 2011. ESPN CalHi Sports All-State First Team in 2010. East Bay Defensive Player of the Year by the Contra Costa Times in 2009.
From a statistical standpoint, Renaud had a bit of a regression last season, but when you crunch the numbers, his drop in output makes a bit more sense. Renaud registered 46 tackles as a sophomore in 2012, with those numbers dropping to 25 in 2013...however, Renaud was officially sidelined by an injury for 3 games and the emergence of Tanner Vallejo as a viable co-starter took a large bite out of Renaud's numbers. If you look at his game-by-game statistics, even though he was out of the lineup for just 3 games, he didn't register a single stat in the last 6, so obviously he was battling through something that pushed him to the background. Overall, if you look at his "healthy numbers" his 2013 was fairly consistent with 2012...and that's not a bad thing at all. So far in Fall Camp, Renaud has been emerging as a real leader amongst the deep LB corps and is expected to finish off his Bronco career on a high note. New DC Marcel Yates even called out Renaud as someone that's been laying some big hits on sore offensive teammates in the first few weeks of camp. Renaud started the Spring Game at MLB (alongside OLB Chris Santini) and was named co-starter with Tanner Vallejo before camp even commenced. Therefore, it's safe to say that Renaud is suffering no lasting effects from last season's "boo boo" and I think will push his tackle numbers back into the 40s—if he and Vallejo can learn to share. Of course, you can't fail to mention Renaud's special teams prowess when discussing the senior either...and we should expect more ragdoll moments from kick returners with BR in coverage. The suddenly deep LB corps should partially mask Renaud's departure next season, but his true impact on this team is hard to measure.
Is he on Twitter?
Given the username, I'm pretty sure THIS is him...but don't think he's much for twittering.
Completely made up fact
Out of a sense of obligation, Blake's favorite musical artist is French singer Renaud, whose style is a mix of C.W. McCall and John Denver...in Joey Ramone's leather jacket.