Why does Hunter Renfrow have success against Alabama? Availability


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Renfrow says his upbringing helped turn him into the player he is today
Renfrow says his upbringing helped turn him into the player he is today

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Why does Hunter Renfrow play his best games against Alabama? Availability.

Renfrow spoke with the media this week as Clemson prepares to take on Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and he said that availability is what makes him a valuable target for quarterbacks and a hated symbol in the state of Alabama.

“I just try to be available,” Renfrow said. “I used to joke that I could go into Alabama and get a speeding ticket and hopefully, it's an Auburn cop who stopped me because hopefully, he might like me but having success over the last two years against both of them, I'm probably not going to do so well with either.”

Renfrow is often a target on third down, and he says he wants the quarterbacks to know he’ll make the grab if they throw it his way.

“It's just confidence. I appreciate the coaches and Kelly having confidence in me,” Renfrow said. “I just try to get open and if everyone knows it and Alabama tries to take it away, we're going to throw it to Deon or Ray-Ray or hand it off to Tavien or Travis or Adam. Really just trying to be available. My baseball coach back in high school said, 'The best ability in the world is availability.' I just try to stay available on third down.”

He also credits his family and his upbringing for his success on the field.

“I think it was the way I was raised and the way I was brought up. I'm part of a big family. I have five siblings and 60 something first cousins on my dad's side and so those Thanksgiving and Christmas games when you're in the front yard playing, you don't get pass interference calls there and so you have to get open regardless,” he said. “Maybe the odds are stacked against you but you have to go win anyways. I think the upbringing from that standpoint and it's also my relationship with Christ. Whether I drop that pass in Tampa last year or caught it, I wasn't going to be defined by that. I'm not going to be overwhelmed by that moment, so I'm just going to go out there and have fun and play freely.”

Renfrow gets a third shot at Alabama Monday night, and he’s looking forward to the rubber match.

“We've played against Alabama. We're 1-1. It's like playing in the backyard with your brothers,” he said. “They win the first basketball game and you win the second, that game three adds some bragging rights to it and has a little extra to it. You just want to play well. That's how I can relate it. Going in the backyard and splitting or playing Xbox or card. You just want to get that game three.”

Reports out of Alabama have said that Renfrow’s picture – the one where he caught the game-winning pass last January – has been a constant presence around the Alabama practice facility.

“That's bulletin board material for them but it also is for us. You don't just learn lessons in the bad times, you learn lessons in the good times, as well,” Renfrow said. “I think that's just as much if not more motivation for us to get back and win it again as it is for them to have lost it.”

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