Renfrow thinks Bryant’s big-game experience should not be overlooked
Though Clemson fans and the media seem to be ready to crown freshman Trevor Lawrence as the Tigers’ new starting quarterback, one of Clemson’s star players is not as certain of that just yet.
Hunter Renfrow, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to beat Alabama in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, believes the race to be the starting quarterback is far from over.
Clemson of course is in the middle of perhaps is best quarterback battle in a long time. The talent at quarterback is plentiful with incumbent starter Kelly Bryant back after guiding the Tigers to the College Football Playoff last year. Lawrence is a former 5-star recruit that was the No. 1 overall player coming out of high school, while Hunter Johnson is also a former 5-star talent that was the No. 1 quarterback in the 2017 Class.
Chase Brice was a former 4-star talent that won more than 40 games in high school.
“We are definitely spoiled,” Renfrow said. “We can go out there with any of the four of them and win. All four of them are talented and all four of them can make the throws. They took the running element out (of the spring game) so a lot of people did not see that from Chase, Kelly, Hunter and Trevor.
“That’s another element that gets thrown in.”
Of course it was Johnson and Lawrence that shined in the spring game. Johnson completed a 37-yard pass to Tee Higgins and later threw an 18-yard touchdown to the 6-foot-5 target, while Lawrence threw a picture-perfect 50-yard bomb to Higgins for a touchdown and later hit him with a 60-yard score and then another deep pass to freshman tight end Braden Galloway. However, the last two passes were called back because Lawrence was ruled down by touch before releasing the passes.
Regardless, the 55,000 fans at Death Valley last month, plus the millions watching back at home, saw enough and are clamoring for Lawrence to be the starter.
“The fans are ready to crown him the starter right now, but Kelly has done well, they have all done well,” Renfrow said. “Trevor can definitely make a lot of throws, but they did not get to see Kelly out of the pocket and Chase and Hunter running as well. That adds a different dynamic to it. They all four did a good job.”
Though Renfrow feels Clemson can win with any of the four quarterbacks, it is hard for him to overlook the experience Bryant got in leading the Tigers to their third straight ACC Championship.
Last year, Bryant won some big games against Auburn, at Louisville, at Virginia Tech and at South Carolina, while also earning ACC Championship Game MVP honors in leading Clemson to a 38-3 win over Miami.
“This time last year, we did not know it was going to be him or Hunter, we did not know who was going to be the quarterback,” Renfrow said. “Just the experience he has gained and just knowing he can go win games for us rather than hoping he can is huge.”