When bowling balls were invented, they may have had Tyler Renew in mind.
The Citadel's bruising — and deceptively quick — running back/fullback punched his way to nearly 3,000 career rushing yards as the "B-back" of the Bulldogs' triple-option attack.
Now, Renew knows he could become one of those patented NFL fullbacks who cracks the block, turns the third-down reception into a first down, and pops for a short-yardage touchdown from time to time. Renew's college production and his Pro Day showings have led him to shoot up the evaluation charts.
In March, Renew returned to the University of South Carolina to make his mark — for the second time. In Nov. 2015, he was the biggest reason the Bulldogs stunned the SEC's Gamecocks, rushing for 174 yards in one of the biggest FCS over FBS upsets in recent memory.
In March, he performed extremely well — running a low time of 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, doing 19 reps of 225 pounds and overall impressing. He measured in at 5-foot-11, 233 pounds.
When he returned to South Carolina's campus, the Gamecocks players remembered him well.
"It was actually pretty cool, I'd never met any of them in person, and actually walking into the facility that day putting faces to names was pretty interesting," Renew told HERO Sports. "The first thing they kept asking me is if I was that running back from The Citadel.
"Then they told me I did a good job. They were real nice to me, very welcoming. I have to give a lot of credit to South Carolina's staff for letting me come. It couldn't have been a nicer environment."
For FCS products, being invited to a Power Five Conference team's Pro Day is a major sign of respect. We saw it all through March, and most of the FCS players made their mark and are still trending upwards today, one week from the draft. Now it's just a matter of seeing if a guy like Renew is the perfect fit for a team.
He only needs one team to see him as the perfect day-three guy. One way or another there's no doubt he'll be wearing an NFL jersey somewhere by this time next month.
In just the past few weeks, Renew has bumped up from the No. 16 fullback prospect into the top ten. He is considered by NFLDraftScout.com as a top 400 NFL prospect. Granted, when you get past the first few rounds, it comes down more to which team considered a prospect the perfect fit.
One question mark, when you play in a triple option offense, is what can you do in the passing game? In the NFL, fullbacks have to be sure handed.
"The scouts were really impressed with my pass catching ability just off the pro day drills," Renew said. "They were also impressed that I was able to put on the weight that I needed to gain (about 15 pounds of muscle since the season). I think I'd already proven that I was quick and fast, but that question mark was just with my ability to catch the ball. Obviously that was just one day, but I have the ability … I'm not a finesse guy, but if I need to get that first down I'll get it.
"And I'd be more than happy to play special teams to get onto an NFL roster. I think scouts were most excited about my versatility and my open mindedness to do the little things."
All in all, Renew's goal is to be the next Citadel product to prove Bulldogs belong in the NFL. He'd like to follow in the footsteps of recent Citadel products like WR Andre Roberts, DB Cortez Allen and FB Nehemiah Broughton. He feels certain the scouts are aware — just like with the service academies — that there is way more on the plate of a Citadel cadet than that of a normal student-athlete.
"There have been Citadel players in the NFL before me and there will be players after me, and I think the reputation's already set," Renew said. "They know the men who have come out of the Citadel. This is a disciplined school and these are disciplined people.
"We know how to work under pressure."