Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Former Sun Devil Renell Wren

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Story by Frida Mata

The NFL is scheduled for players to head back to camps at the end of July, but with COVID-19 cases rising new barriers may rise. 

Renell Wren, Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle keeps a positive mindset and says he is ready to see new competition and see who has been working hard during their time away.  

“When we report back at the end of July they are really going to see who has really been working out and working on their craft per who has just been lazy,” said Wren.  

Wren is a former Arizona State University defensive lineman 

who was drafted fourth round and is now towards his second year with the Bengals. 

“I am definitely blessed for the opportunity and I just continue glorifying God and keep praying. I see myself playing for many years in the NFL, so then I can just sit back and work for myself down the long run,” said Wren. 

He was listed as a heavy run stopper and feels confident about coming into his second season. Acknowledging that his biggest progress has to be fully understanding the playbook, and is now getting ready to tackle new tactics. 

“I need to improve on converting my run to pass. I was listed as a heavy run stopper, now it’s just converting to pass rushing. I’ve been watching film and have been putting into action some things that I think may help me progress this upcoming season,” said Wren. 

The NFL has been out since December 2019 and were supposed to return back in April 2020, due to the epidemic and social distancing, that was not the case. Since, the NFL has sent iPads to athletes and coaches to make sure everyone keeps in touch during these hard times. 

“We had Zoom conferences. They sent our iPads to our home addresses in April, and we had daily conferences for about a month,” said Wren. 

Although they are scheduled to return back to the field late July, Wren plans to get there early July to get in better shape and show his coaches he is ready to tear this season up. 

“Really this year I am just focusing on productivity. Producing and building my stats board up. Last year I had to learn the play book and everything, but now since it’s the same play book now it’s all about making those plays. Production that’s the biggest thing!” Said Wren. 

To maintain his size Wren workouts on a regular basis and tries to maintain a healthy diet that consists of eating about 15,000 calories a day and drinking plenty of water. The 316lb. athlete weighed heavier at the beginning of his first season and shares that training and working out for the Bengals has been something like never before. 

“Its been a different level because they take every rep seriously. The owner of the Bengals watches our practices too, so if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing they give you a few chances but then they’ll kick you to the curb. That’s just the business you know, I gotta respect that,” said Wren. 

During these times apart, Wren decided to establish his trademark a little bit more and launch his own online brand, Mount Wren. Mentioning that playing football has been a great experience, but is also grateful that he gets this platform to spread his message. 

“I wanted a trademark, #G2G which means Glory to God. That’s just on a personal level how everything I do I want to give glory to my father in heaven cause after all that he has done, the least that I can do is do that,” said Wren.

His plan when he gets back is to show to his coaches that he has been working hard to stay in shape and to keep improving both mentally and physically to improve his craft. He believes that although times are hard the NFL will be able to pull some strings and bring the sport that is so loved back. 

“The NFL has billions of dollars in the industry, I’m pretty sure they are going to find a safe way in which we would still be able to play but possibly without fans,” said Wren. “The best is yet to come.”