The Legend of Hunter Renfrow
|Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 7:14 PM- -|
TAMPA – Two years ago, nobody outside of the Clemson football program knew Hunter Renfrow.
Now, the legend of Hunter Renfrow will last forever.
The Myrtle Beach native quietly came onto the scene last year as a redshirt freshman but took the nation by storm in Clemson’s loss to Alabama last season – catching seven passes for 88 yards and two scores.
This year, the Alabama defense said they wouldn’t be overlooking Renfrow, but the bigger the stage, the bigger the legend.
Renfrow was Clemson’s leading receiver, catching 10 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in Monday’s 35-31 victory over Alabama to claim Clemson’s second national championship.
Renfrow told the media after the game that while people are just now beginning to recognize his work, he owes all of the credit to the work he does on the practice field.
“I felt like definitely nationally last year I kind of got some recognition in the Alabama game. But it really started at two points I feel like over the last two years,” Renfrow said. “This crazy thing about a year-and-a-half ago, I was a walk-on still, nobody really knew about me. But like Deshaun said earlier, practice, it all started in practice. I went against, two years ago, Mackensie Alexander, Stephone Anthony. Those guys were the No. 1 defense in the nation, and that's something I've carried over, that if I can get open against those guys and the guys we have now in practice, then I can get open against anyone.
“And then last year, the Notre Dame game. Such a big game in the rain in a hurricane, and I made a catch on the sideline and felt like I kind of belonged. As far as the whole game, I played every snap except one. When they punted it down at the 1-yard line we had to go heavy formation. I just knew I was going to have to give everything I had. I've dreamed about it since I was a kid, all of us, and I couldn't let these seniors go down like we did last year. Just love them, and just appreciative for the opportunity.”
Clemson’s last scoring play – crush – was a play designed to go to Renfrow and he said quarterback Deshaun Watson executed the play to perfection.
“I'm thinking, with six seconds, we're rolling right, even if we get sacked, we can still call timeout,” Renfrow said. “Just an unbelievable play by Deshaun (Watson). Artavis Scott did a great job on the outside getting a little rub, and it was an awesome play call by our coaches.”
Outside of a couple of offers from Appalachian State, Presbyterian, and a few others, Renfrow didn’t have many offers so to be the man called upon in the game’s final seconds is something he never could’ve dreamed of.
“Yeah, never in a million years. It's been such a journey for me,” he said. “It's like I got knocked out in the third quarter and this was all a dream. Credit to – I think my faith in God really got me through, just passing up the money to go to App State and come and playing for a guy like Coach Swinney, and a quarterback like Deshaun is pretty special.”