Friday, August 8, 2008

Where You At?: Rob Renes Edition

The Where You At? series keeps on truckin' (or trackin'?) (please stop me from making more puns) with a look a former defensive tackle Rob Renes.

Michigan has had its fair share of pile-pushing DT's in recent years; Terrence Taylor, Alan Branch, and Gabe Watson all come to mind. However, none of these talented players received the accolades of Rob Renes, who lettered from 1996-99.

I remember Renes as a short, round white guy who looked like he wanted to burrow under the center when he lined up. He never looked particularly threatening until the ball was snapped, when he showed shocking quickness for a man of his size. Renes always seemed to make his way into the backfield, and I was a big fan of the way he disrupted plays and always seemed to be giving his all (typical white guy praise, I know, but he really deserves it).

Rob Renes may have to look up at your quarterback, but he'll be in his face all day

Renes saw very limited action in four games as a freshman, stuck behind All-American William Carr at nose tackle. With Carr gone in 1997, however, Renes stepped in and filled Carr's (quite large) gap admirably. Although he was overshadowed on the Michigan defense by Charles Woodson, Marcus Ray, Glen Steele, and others, he actually had his best season statistically during the National Title season. Renes recorded 47 tackles, nine of them for a loss, and had a career-high four sacks.

Renes kept up his solid play the next two seasons. In 1998, he tallied 51 tackles (a career-high), nine more TFL's, forced a fumble and recovered two. Renes, for the second straight season, picked up the Arthur Robinson Scholarship Award, given to the Michigan player who achieves the most in the classroom. He also picked up the hilariously-named Dick Katcher award, which acknowledges Michigan's outstanding defensive lineman or outside linebacker. The following season, Renes became only the fourth Wolverine to be named first team All-America both on the field and academically. The co-captain tallied 46 tackles (five for loss), one sack, a forced fumble and a recovery on the season, won another Katcher (muffled snicker) award, and finished his career as one of the most accomplished Wolverines in history, both on and off the field.

A scholar and a, well, really good defensive tackle. As well as a gentleman, from all accounts.

Renes was taken in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, but his career would be cut short. Two weeks into training camp, he fractured a vertebrae and was place on injured reserve. Forced to wear a back brace, Renes was waived by the Colts after the season, and never played a down in the NFL.

Luckily, Renes took full advantage of his Michigan education. He taught at Saline Middle School from 2001-2002, and then moved on to teaching at Reeths-Puffer Middle School in Muskegon County. Renes (who is referred to as "Robbie" in his Reeths-Puffer profile) picked up his Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan in 2007, and continues to teach Geography and History and Reeths-Puffer. He has added a few extra titles since teaching in Muskegon, as he is now the NCA Committee Co-Chair, Social Studies Department Co-Chair, and Supervisor of F.A.P.E. Services. I'm not sure what some of that means, but it sounds like he's a quick riser in the teaching world.

"Robbie" Renes

Renes provides his general philosophy on education and his vision for learners in his profile:
General Philosophy of Education:

My general philosophy of education is that all students are capable of learning. I believe that as a teacher, it is my responsibility to provide opportunities for students to learn, while it is the responsibility of the student to take advantage of those opportunities.

A Vision for Learners:

My vision for learners is simple. I envision all learners developing the skills necessary to become life-long learners. With these skills in hand, I believe anyone is capable of deriving value from any given situation.
It sounds like Renes is a dedicated and successful teacher, and it is great to see that he is using his Academic All-American background to help others learn. It's unfortunate that his playing career was cut short, but he has landed on his feet quite nicely, and is giving back to his community.

Rob Renes (Wikipedia)
Rob Renes, Football All-American (Bentley Historical Library)
Annual Michigan Football Bust: Scholarships and Awards
MGoBlue Statistics Archive
Robbie Renes Profile (Reeths-Puffer Schools)

1 comment:

Casey said...

A great feature on a great Michigan man. I had a class with Rob, and indeed, he was as chill and intelligent in the classroom as he was devastating on the field.