TAMPA, Fla. — There are times when defenses forget about Hunter Renfrow.
Clemson’s shifty wide receiver, who somehow always makes the big catch when the Tigers need it the most, finds himself open quite often, especially at the most important times in a game.
No better example of that than in the ACC Championship Game when he caught a 31-yard pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson on a second-and-19 play deep in Clemson’s own end midway through the fourth quarter. Renfrow’s leaping grab keyed the Tigers’ last scoring drive, which he capped himself with a 15-yard touchdown reception a few plays later.
“I think it just happens. I think the ball finds me because I get open in practice and it just finds me during the game,” the sophomore said.
The ball has found Renfrow 34 times this season for 403 yards and four touchdowns. With so many explosive weapons, including fellow wide receivers Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Deon Cain, Ray Ray McCloud and tight end Jordan Leggett, it’s easy for Renfrow to get lost at times.
“I guess I do a little bit,” he said as the Tigers get set to play Alabama in the CFP National Championship Game on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. “You have Mike out there and Tai. He is one of Clemson’s all-time leading receivers. Sometimes they forget about me, but I enjoy it that way.”
It is doubtful Alabama head coach Nick Saban will lose Renfrow this year. Last year, the sophomore burned the Crimson Tide with touchdowns of 31 and 11 yards in the first quarter and finished the night with a team-high seven catches for 88 yards.
“Hopefully he will,” Renfrow joked. “They do a great job of covering up everyone, though.”
Renfrow said Alabama changed things up on him in the second half and bumped one of their linebackers and put them out with a running back outside, and moved Minkah Fitzpatrick into a slot to cover Renfrow.
“That was the difference in the second half,” the Clemson wideout said.
That and the fact the Tigers missed on a few plays.
“I definitely remember having a fun start in the first half and then trying to finish it off in the second half and not being able to do it,” Renfrow said. “I remember Deshaun overthrowing me one time. I remember a couple of balls that I should have had. I know there was a ball Tai should have had, and just not finishing plays. Hopefully, we will do that this year.”