Hunter Renfrow: The Anonymous Star
|Friday, September 2, 2016, 11:01 PM- -|
CLEMSON – It’s no secret that opposing coaches and defensive backs know Hunter Renfrow, but the unassuming former walk-on is still able to blend in with the regular students on his own campus.
Renfrow burst onto the scene last season, finishing fifth on the team with 33 receptions for 492 yards and five touchdowns. He appeared in 15 games, with 10 starts, and his 14.9 yards per catch figure was third-best on the team.
His newfound celebrity doesn’t extend to all parts of his life, however.
“It has changed a little bit. My girlfriend still treats me the same,” Renfrow said. “My family still treats me the same. Not much has changed, maybe my outside view of how people see me changed, but I'm still the same person, and we still have to do the same things. I still have to bust my butt in practice or else if we bring in a 5-star, he's going to beat me out. It's just the same things.”
He isn’t recognized on his own campus at times.
“It's a little different. You get a little more recognition around campus,” he said. “I sat in my Economics class the other day, and there were three people beside me, and I said my name was Hunter. The guy beside me said he was from St. George and I said I know (former Tiger) Robert Smith. He said, 'How do you know Robert Smith?' I said I played with them. He said, 'In high school?' I said, ‘No, I played with him at Clemson.’ I said my name and he still didn't have a clue for a while and then he asked me was I Hunter Renfrow? When I said yes, he was like, 'I thought you were a little bigger than that.' I get that sometimes.”
Renfrow capped off his stellar freshman season with two touchdown receptions against Alabama in the National Championship game, and he finished with seven grabs for 88 yards to lead all Tigers.
That’s led to a more confident player heading into 2016, but also a player who isn’t counting on last season to help him this year.
“I definitely have more confidence; that's one thing. But, at the same time, I can't get complacent,” Renfrow said. “That's what all of us have been fighting in preseason camp. We still have to do the little things right and put in the work. We're just getting ready for the season and most importantly to beat Auburn on Saturday. I tried to make it as hard as I could in practice last year, and that is the same thing I'm doing this year. Football is football - it doesn't matter where you play it or when you play it - it's the same game.”
Renfrow said that attitude is also the same one the team is taking as they try to win one more game than last year.
“We don't have any excuses. We have the talent, but there is a little luck involved as well,” he said. “You have people come up and say, 'I've already booked my hotel room in Tampa' and I'm like hold on a little bit. Let's play the games. We hope to be there, and we expect to be there, but we have to play the games and put in the work because it doesn't just happen. It comes one day at a time and one practice at a time.”