COLUMBIA, S.C. — Tyler Renew stood on the indoor football field at South Carolina on Tuesday morning, proudly wearing a long-sleeve gray shirt bearing the words “The Citadel Bulldogs” across the chest.
Naturally, that drew some attention from the Gamecocks taking part in USC’s annual pro day given the result of their game against The Citadel in 2015. The Bulldogs won that game, with Renew running for 174 yards and two touchdowns at Williams-Brice Stadium.
“I had a couple guys saying, ‘Oh, you ran over my boy’ and stuff like that,” Renew said. “It was fun getting to know some of the guys that I played against and I had never known before. It was nice meeting them and putting a face to a name.”
Renew was back in Columbia, this time to work out alongside the Gamecocks in front of NFL personnel as he made his case for an opportunity at the next level. The opportunity came about as his agent and his high school coaches at Ben Lippen “pulled some strings” and coaches Will Muschamp and Jeff Dillman opened the doors for Renew.
“Columbia is home to me,” Renew said. “Being able to work out with these guys and get to know them, it was definitely an awesome experience that I will never forget.”
The 5-foot-11, 217-pound running back finished his career at The Citadel fifth on the school’s list of all-time rushing leads with 2,868 yards. As a senior, he rushed for 285 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries against Samford to clinch a Southern Conference championship for the Bulldogs.
Now, Renew is hoping for an opportunity to play in the NFL. He has been balancing classes in the morning with workouts in the afternoon to get ready for South Carolina’s pro day.
“I think I did as well as I could have done,” Renew said. “I talked to a couple scouts and they said I ran really well and my position drills were really good. They were excited to continue talking to me.”
As fate had it, weather in Columbia pushed Tuesday’s pro day indoors at South Carolina. Otherwise, Renew would have been back on the turf at Williams-Brice, where he ran for a game-winning 56-yard touchdown in the 23-22 win for the Bulldogs.
Instead, the Columbia native is left with a special memory of his opportunity to be part of history The Citadel.
“Definitely something I won’t forget,” Renew said. “It was awesome for The Citadel, for the whole fan base and everybody in general. From when I get there to where we ended as a senior class, that was an awesome achievement that people will remember for years.”