The Renfro File:
40 time: 4.86 (sophomore year)
Bench: 275 (sophomore year)
Squat: 360 (sophomore year)
Inside 20: 12 (senior year)
Long Punt: 49 (senior year)
Nathan Renfro wanted to go to a school where he could make an impact right away and that’s why he’s coming to College Park.
The Brentwood Academy punter said he saw a lot of similarities between FSU and UMD, which had him attracted to both schools. The Florida weather had him leaning toward becoming a Seminole as of last week, but Maryland’s open spot at punter and the opportunity to play under scholarship eventually proved to be too much to pass up.
“Florida State was a walk-on opportunity,” Renfro said. “Maryland meant signing and potentially playing right away. I would love to play and contribute right off the bat.”
Renfro said he is excited about the way things have played out and that he will have no problem shifting to colder temperatures for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that College Park provided more of a “home feeling” than Tallahassee. On his trip to campus he was able to visit with his former Brentwood Academy football teammate, Justin Cash, who is a redshirt freshman on the Terrapin wrestling squad. Renfro said the visit made him feel more comfortable choosing Maryland. He added that he is really into U.S. history and liked the university’s proximity to D.C.
“It seemed like it had a lot going on besides the college itself,” Renfro said.
The Nashville native was a soccer goalie growing up and didn’t start playing football until sixth grade. He said he didn’t start seriously dedicating himself to the crafts of kicking and punting until high school. At that point he “found his niche.” But Renfro says he never thought playing at the collegiate level would be a reality until the very end of the summer right before his senior year. That’s when he started working with James Wilhoit, one of the better field goal kickers to ever play at the University of Tennessee. After that, Renfro attended various kicking camps and started raising eyebrows around the country. Chris Sailer Kicking rated him as one of the best punters in the nation, and that’s when Nathan knew he might be able to play D1 football.
Renfro was offered scholarships at Northwestern, Harvard, Central Michigan, Tennessee Tech and Maryland. He said the longest field goal he’s ever kicked in a game is 51 yards, and his longest punt stands at 57 yards. However, in practice he has made a 65-yard field goal and can punt the ball 60 yards in the air.
He’s also quite a good athlete. In addition to playing outfield and pitching for Brentwood Academy baseball, Renfro played DT, DE, OLB, TE, WR and FB in high school. And the 6’2”, 210 pound punter said he loves to hit people.
“Kicking was just something I did on the side until senior year,” Renfro said. “I’m not the fastest person in the world, but if I get the chance I’m definitely gonna try to hit and tackle someone.”
Nathan knows his team might need him to tackle someone, because special teams is going to be a whole different animal now that he’s playing in the ACC.
“Returners will be a whole lot faster, the rush coming at me will be a whole lot quicker. I was blessed with really great snappers in high school, but I’m sure the snapping will be even quicker at Maryland.”
And while he looks forward to the challenge of trying to pin back some of the nation’s best return teams, right now Renfro is just happy to be a Terp.
“The whole recruiting process was stressful. Coaches weren’t going to come and watch punters. I had to send out my film and all that stuff. It’s real relieving, real exciting to know where I’m going to be playing at.”
Terps fans can be equally relieved and excited knowing they got a great steal on special teams.