Lutheran North News

Lutheran North grad reflects on his road to the Super Bowl

ST. LOUIS — If you're a St. Louisan looking for a reason to pull for the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl (outside of simply rooting against the Rams), let me introduce you to Renell Wren.
"When the draft started in 2019, they called and asked me if I'd like to be a Bengal. And I said, 'Of course', because I just wanted the opportunity to perform at the highest level," Wren said.

Wren has carried the values instilled with him at Lutheran North into the NFL.

"They didn't just build me as a football player at Lutheran North, but I gained a lot of spiritual aspect of going out there in the real world and also educational. The curriculum helped me along the way and everything, and all the teachers and my friends helped me along the way and made me a better person inside and out," Wren said.

Wren appeared in 11 games in his rookie year of 2019, tallying eight tackles.

In training camp of his sophomore season of 2020, Wren tore 50% off his quad tendon, and missed the entire year. The team waived him, and he ended up being placed on the practice squad.

But Wren had faith that Cincinnati was still the right place for him.

"I'm a very spiritual man, and it says in the scriptures to 'Be still and know that I am God', so I believe that God put me there for a reason. So it definitely humbled me and definitely kept me sane that life still moves on, but he has a plan for you," Wren said.

This season, Wren appeared in the Bengals' Week 18 game against the Cleveland Browns, getting a tackle.

Now, he's heading to the Super Bowl with the Bengals ready to go if his number is called.

"You just have to be ready, because your name could be called at any given moment," Wren said.

Wren went from taking pictures with St. Louis Rams players when they were still here, to facing them in the Super Bowl. And he's confident the outcome will go the Bengals' way.

"It's gonna be a great feeling. Being able to just go to the Super Bowl for one, you can't take that for granted because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Wren said. "And I know we're going to beat the Rams. Just having that ring on my finger and enjoying that win, and not just the win, but being called a Super Bowl champ is going to be an honor."

The Bengals will be relying on young quarterback sensation Joe Burrow to continue his hot play and bring a Super Bowl title to Cincinnati for the first time ever. Wren has some insight into what makes Burrow so good.

"He's definitely humble. I wouldn't say [Burrow is] prideful at all. He just takes it one play at a time. For him to be in his second year only and getting us to the Super Bowl is outstanding," Wren said. "He's definitely mature for his age, and just going up against him in practice, and working on my craft and everything... The Bengals make sure he does not get touched at practice. Nowhere near him. Three feet, five feet, stay away from that guy. He is that guy up there. I definitely give him kudos for helping us go to the Super Bowl, and not just him but the rest of the team, too."

Wren still represents his hometown with pride, even rocking to his long-time friend and fellow St. Louis native music artist Jared Jones for his pregame warm-up music.

And he has a message for why St. Louis fans should be rooting for his Bengals to bring home the championship.

"Even though there's a lot of 'Kansas City Chiefs fans' we need all the Cincinnati Bengals fans from over there to support us in the Super Bowl in LA. So let's get after it," Wren said.

"St. Louis should be pulling for me and Cincinnati because I'm a St. Louis native and I love my city dearly. Whenever I get the chance I love to go back to my high school and hang with my friends and family... I want to do a camp soon and give back to the community very, very soon. God willing things are going to happen according to his will. I just want to put St. Louis back on the map. I just want to give thanks to my Lord, also to my parents, my fiancé, for staying above water and giving me advice and telling me what I need to do to keep it going."

Wren is a Lutheran North High School grad in his third year as a defensive tackle with the Bengals. Cincinnati drafted him out of Arizona State in 2019.

This article was originally published here.