Big Game Hunter: Renfrow continues to grow entering his junior season


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Hunter Renfrow is one of the veteran leaders of the offense
Hunter Renfrow is one of the veteran leaders of the offense

Many Clemson fans likely think Hunter Renfrow can do no wrong.

But the wide receiver is aware he has things he can improve on entering his junior season with the Tigers.

And yes, that includes the form from his game-winning catch against Alabama in the national championship game in January.

“Really just catching the ball away from my body. You can see on the last play of the national championship that I kind of caught it against my pads, and if he was that much closer, he could have kind of knocked it out; so just catching it out in front of me with my hands,” Renfrow said. “And like we’ve been talking about, leadership. I recognize that I’m one of the older guys on the team and one of the more experienced guys, so just being able to be calm in the pressure situations and play every game like it’s my last.”

Renfrow continues to grow into a leadership role with the team, especially within the wide receiver group. He is listed as one of the starters on the depth chart entering Saturday’s season opener against Kent State with Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud.

And Renfrow has taken the leadership responsibilities seriously, hoping to help the young talented receivers improve this season. And there are plenty of those players in sophomores Diondre Overton and Cornell Powell, redshirt freshman T.J. Chase and true freshmen Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers.

“Obviously, those guys are extremely talented, but no matter who they bring in here, you’ve got to develop,” Renfrow said. “You’ve got a lot of raw talent that Coach Scott and our coaches do a great job of kind of critiquing and making better, and so one day, they will be a Mike Williams first-round pick. But it’s cool coming and kind of leading them through my experiences and my perspectives of being here for two years, so far."

Those experiences and perspectives allow Renfrow to pass things along to those younger players.

“The main thing is just don’t let the moment be too big for you. Just come out here and practice every day, and if you’re running a route in practice, nothing changes in a game,” Renfrow said. “You’re running the same route, and the field’s the same length and width and just to put yourself in the game atmosphere in practice. If you do that, no moment’s going to be too big or too small for you.”

A former walk-on, Renfrow has 77 catches for 987 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1,194 snaps in his 26 career games, including 19 starts. Most of those catches came from Deshaun Watson, but now Renfrow and the other receivers are working with first-year starting quarterback Kelly Bryant to build a stronger relationship.

Bryant beat out redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper and true freshman Hunter Johnson, along with another true freshman in Chase Brice, for the starting spot for Saturday’s game.

“That’s going to take time. Me and Deshaun were there for two years together, and Kelly’s just coming in,” Renfrow said of getting into a rhythm with Bryant. “But it’s not like this is the first year I’ve been with Kelly. I’ve also been with him last year and the year before that, as well, so it’s going to take time as far as the games, but we have confidence, and he does with all the receivers.”

Daniel Shirley is the sports editor of The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., and co-host of The Midday Sports Zone on Middle Georgia’s ESPN, 93.1 FM and 99.5 FM. Follow him on Twitter at @DM_Shirley and read his blog at macon.com/peachsports.


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