Bo Wren was at the right place at the right time this season.
Wren, a 2007 Gainesville High graduate, entered his freshman season at Virginia Military Institute unsure about what to expect, but ended up starting 11 games this season at offensive guard after the projected starter went down with an injury.
The Keydets didn’t achieve the kind of team success he would have hoped for with a 2-9 record, but Wren believes the future looks bright at VMI with a young roster and strong recruiting classes in recent years. The Keydets run based offense, was ranked No. 4 nationally in rushing this season with 3,115 yards.
Times sports writer Bill Murphy spoke with the two-time wrestling state champion Friday about his first season of college football, campus life at a military school, outlook for next season and the possibility of continuing his wrestling career at the college level in the future.
Question: How do you feel your first season of college football went?
Answer: Well I came into camp really unsure of what to expect. It’s a really big step from high school to playing college football. We have a really new coach staff here at Virginia Military. When I came in I just focused on working out and getting stronger. I was second string most of summer camp, but after the starter went down I ended up starting in 11 games.
Q: What is campus life like at a military school?
A: It’s a lot different. We have to wake up at 6 a.m. every morning. And anytime we try to leave campus we have to sign out. Then it’s lights out at 11 p.m. To be honest, I’m still trying to get used to it. Right now, we’re going through "Rat line" which is the freshman orientation on campus. We always have the older cadets yelling at us, and can’t walk on the grass and we always have to square corners walking around the barracks. I’ve heard we still have about two more weeks of that when we get back to school, but they have to deem us worthy before it’s over.
Q: What is the best aspect of this season for you?
A: I really feel like we’re headed in the right direction with our program. I really like our offensive coordinator Brent Davis (former Georgia Southern offensive line coach) and we run the ball a lot in the triple-option. I believe that we finished fourth in the country in rushing yards this season. I’m really looking forward to next season. I came in with a really good recruiting class and the class we have coming in is strong too. We only lose four starters from this year’s team for next season, and only one on the offensive line. I’m looking forward to whooping up on some folks that beat us this season.Q: What is it like going to school in Lexington, Virginia?
A: It’s like a small old southern town. There’s one main historic square here in town. There’s a lot of statues for Civil War veterans on campus. Stonewall Jackson actually taught here at VMI.
Q: Since you’re a two-time wrestling state champion, do you miss being a wrestler?
A: Actually, I thought about wrestling this year. The coach actually wanted me to come out and wrestle with these two guys we have. But I just decided there really isn’t enough time. I wanted to be able to focus on my academics and football. If I wrestled, I wouldn’t be able to come home because I would go right from football into wrestling. But I’m not going to rule out wrestling next year.