The legend of Hunter Renfrow at Clemson goes all the way back to the summer leading up to his senior year of high school when he attended the Clemson Tigers football camp.
Renfrow was a 5 foot 10, 155 pound quarterback who had dreams of playing for the Tigers. Despite having scholarship offers from several schools in the football championship subdivision, Renfrow never did receiver an offer from Clemson.
What did come from Clemson was an opportunity to join the team as a walk-on.
“Hunter came to our camp going into his senior year of high school,” said Jeff Scott, Clemson University co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, on my Just Pod Baby podcast.
“He was about 155 pounds, he was a quarterback in high school. And I told him, hey we are not going to be able to offer you a scholarship but if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for we’d love to have you come walk-on. So he came and we had about 115 players and he was probably number 115 on the roster.”
Renfrow would redshirt his first year at Clemson and it didn’t take coaches long to notice that they had something special on their hands. You can hear the full interview with coach Jeff Scott below.
“He red shirted his freshman year,” added Scott. “And he did so well during his red shirt year in practice beating our starting defensive backs on a consistent basis that in the spring of his red shirt year we ended up giving him a scholarship in August before he ever played his first snap. That’s really rare for a walk-on to earn a scholarship before they play a snap but it was because of what he had done in just one year of practice getting open and the confidence that we had that not only was he going to play, he was going to be a very productive player for us.”
The rest was history for Renfrow. In what was one of the most unlikely but storied careers, Renfrow finished his time at Clemson with 186 receptions for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also owns the Clemson record for most starts by a receiver with 47. In 2018 he won the Burlsworth trophy, which is awarded to college football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.
And who can forget the game winner he caught from then quarterback Deshaun Watson in the 2017 CFP national championship against Alabama.
During the interview with Coach Scott, I asked what are the attributes that Renfrow possess that will make him successful at the next level.
“I think probably his best attribute as a receiver is just he kinda has this sixth sense if you will. He knows how to get open, he knows when to make certain breaks, he understands what the quarterback is looking at, what he’s looking for. And he’s just one of these guys who finds a way to get open. I use to tease him sometimes that he kind of had eyes in the back of his head because he could see things going on behind him closer to the quarterback while he’s running his routes.”
As mini camp wrapped up and the Raiders practiced for the final time as a team before the start of training camp it was Renfrow who was running with the ones along side Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams.
The offense has lacked a dynamic player like Renfrow in the slot for sometime now. His skill set and ability combined with Brown and Williams could take this offense to a new heights.