Hunter Renfrow: Holding babies and signing names
|Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 2:46 PM- -|
CLEMSON – It’s been four months since Hunter Renfrow gathered in the pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson at the goal line, cradled the ball to his chest and fell backward into Clemson history. But that doesn’t mean the shine has worn off Renfrow’s accomplishment.
In fact, he could probably run for office.
The former walk-on wide receiver has been busy since catching the championship-winning pass from Watson, going through spring practice, being a student and signing thousands of Sports Illustrated covers with his picture.
He even spent an evening at a Clemson event signing hundreds of covers for adoring fans, but it doesn’t stop there. The once anonymous Renfrow can’t get away from the hype.
“I've signed close to 2,000 of them in the last month,” Renfrow said earlier this spring. “I've definitely perfected my signature. It's been a good time and I've gotten to meet a lot of new people that I might not have met if I didn't score the touchdown and we didn't win. I'm a lot more appreciative that I caught the ball than if I would've dropped it.”
He can’t even attend one of Clemson’s home baseball games without being asked to hold babies and pose for pictures, perhaps a foreshadowing of a career in politics.
“This lady comes up to me at the baseball game and hands me this baby,” Renfrow said with a laugh. “Of course, my girlfriend is sitting right there and she is trying to coach me through it. I had to keep the head upright and stuff like that. It's been pretty crazy.”
Is he embracing the craziness?
“A little bit. I think a lot of it is just funny,” he said. “Everyone wants to get a picture and everyone wants to capture this moment because it's such a special moment. Hopefully, this time next year they will be doing the same thing and we'll go climb that mountain again.”
Renfrow actually did more than just catch passes against Alabama – his tackle of Alabama Ryan Anderson after Anderson picked up a fumble saved a touchdown.
“The play came open and I was lucky that he looked right,” Renfrow said. “When he picked the ball off, he looked right and then he looked left. If he had looked left first he might have stiff-armed me. So we got lucky from that standpoint. I am just trying to be the best football player I can be.”
He's also cross-trained at all three wide receiver spots and worked at punt return, but his once burgeoning career as a punter seems to be over.
“I cross-trained a little bit, playing some two man and five man. I haven't practiced at the nine man spot, but I did last spring with Deon and Mike out, so I got some time there. It's just in case somebody gets hurt and I have to move over there,” he said. “They let me punt one the other day and I botched it so my reps are gone. At punt return - I was talking to my dad the other day, and my freshman year I started against Florida St. and N.C. State at punt return. I was petrified. I have no idea how I did that. I was so scared and I was so nervous. But I feel a lot more comfortable now.”
Renfrow said wants to work harder than ever this summer.
“I think the real confidence comes from practice, what you do in practice and what you do in the weight room and in the off-season,” he said. “The separation is in the preparation. I have a little more confidence than I did two years at this time when I was walk on. It comes with preparation, so it's not necessarily doing it in games. It's knowing I can do it in practice against studs on our defense.”
“I have a little more confidence, but what's gotten me to where I am now is what I need to carry on. I can't stop. If anything, I need to practice harder and prepare harder for what's coming next. I'm still Hunter and they still have to count on me to win games and I've got to count them.”