December 3, 2012

Renfree ready to be a Cowboy

It may have been Saturday's Wyoming basketball game that helped the Cowboy football team net itself a center.

Thanks to a combination of facilities, organization and the enthusiasm of the Wyoming fans at this weekend's Cowboy win over 19th-ranked Colorado on the hardwood, Phoenix-area center Charlie Renfree committed to the Wyoming football team Sunday morning. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound interior lineman chose Wyoming over scholarship offers from Idaho and South Dakota State.

He is the 10th known commitment to the Wyoming program in the Recruiting Class of 2013.

"Overall it was a lot of fun. Going in, it was nothing I expected," Renfree said. "I expected mediocre facilities. I had never been to Wyoming. I thought it was going to be a school and campus in the middle of nowhere. The facilities and stuff kind of blew me away. They were nothing like what I expected. They have renovated all that stuff in the last couple years."

Renfree said his visit included time with academic advisors in the Business Department as well as time for the players on the team to show him around campus and around Laramie. Due to a lack of snow, the planned snowmobile trip was cancelled, but the time at the Arena-Auditorium Saturday night more than made up for that.

"Just the atmosphere there," Renfree said of the campus Saturday. "They took us to the basketball game on Saturday night. The student section was huge. The community seems to rally around the sports teams. It feels like a family atmosphere there, like everyone knows each other."

Sunday morning Renfree said he felt comfortable enough with Wyoming to commit to the coaching staff and specifically head coach Dave Christensen over breakfast.

"They scheduled a meeting with me and my parents Sunday morning before we left," Renfree said. "My parents had a private meeting with Coach Christensen and I sat down with them and Coach asked me if this was a place I could see myself playing. I told him definitely and I committed and he was super fired-up. He told the rest of the coaches and they were fired up.

"My parents didn't know much about Wyoming either until we got here," Renfree continued. "After looking at the campus and getting a feel of it, they were really pushing me to commit. They liked it too. They are happy, I am happy too. It's all good."

The Renfree family is used to college football and not someone to be easily impressed by the world of college football recruiting. Charlie Renfree will be the second in his family to play Division I football after his brother, Sean Renfree, who is the quarterback for David Cutcliffe's Belk Bowl-bound squad at Duke.

All of that made the compliment Charlie's dad, Kevin Renfree, paid the Wyoming coaches all the more impressive.

"Going there, the coaches had everything organized for that visit," said Charlie. "My dad said this was the best visit he had been on in terms of organization."

Renfree is a senior at Brophy Prep in Phoenix, playing for former Colorado State Ram, Scooter Molander. Renfree joked that Molander and Wyoming Defensive Line Coach, Matt Rahl joke about the rivalry, but his head coach was supportive in his choice to don the Brown and Gold.

"No, no, It wasn't a problem for Coach Molander," Renfree said. "Coach Rahl said that him and Coach Molander kind of get into it a bit when they talk, but nothing too serious."

Renfree said the Wyoming coaches told him they will have a void at center next year with the graduation of Nick Carlson. That has Renfree, who has played guard most of his high school career, working on his snapping.

"They are graduating a center," Renfree said. "I have snapped. That is one of my things this off-season, working on snapping and getting it down. They said they are going to redshirt me for sure and they do that with their lineman. I want to try to play center while I am there. If they need me at guard, I'll play guard. I'll play where ever they need me.

"I just want to come in, help the team any way I can and win some ballgames. That's pretty much it."

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