From walk-on to national championship hero, Hunter Renfrow will go down in history as one of Clemson’s best receivers.
Given the nickname, “Third-and-Renfrow,” the redshirt graduate has been a consistent playmaker over the years and led the Tigers to become 2016 National Champions with his 2-yard catch in the end zone that occurred just as the clock expired.
“There was a lot of emotions then and that’s definitely something we remember and definitely something we want to get back to,” Renfrow said at Clemson’s media day on Wednesday at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson.
Although this is the Tigers’ third trip to the national championship game in the last four years, the experience is something the freshmen and sophomores on the team have yet to experience.
“I know a lot of these freshman want to experience that and these seniors want that experience for the freshmen,” he said. “So it’s really just getting back to that moment.”
The Tigers (14-0) made it to the College Football Playoff semifinal game last season but fell short of the national championship game when they lost to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Now the team is right back where they want to be.
“The last two years we’ve been trying to get back there but something we talk about is just enjoying the moment and the journey of it. So just the day to day and trying to get back has been more fun than necessarily getting back.”
Not only will Clemson be making it back to the title game, but the team will also get to do so in a unique place as it travels from coast to coast to take on Alabama in Santa Clara, Calif. at Levi’s Stadium.
“It’s cool, I’ve never been to California,” Renfrow said, “so just going on the west coast with the time change is going to be a little different but I’m excited. That’s where Hollywood is so that will be cool.”
After the 2018 regular season, Renfrow won the Burlsworth Trophy, awarded to the nation’s most outstanding football player who began his career as a walk-on. Now he will most likely be taking his talent to the NFL next season.
“I think on Senior Night I went out and I was kind of thinking about (his time coming to an end) more than I should,” he said. “I was thinking about kind of ending, it wasn’t the last game in the valley and it wasn’t the last game of the season and I really feel like I didn’t start the way I wanted to.”
Now Renfrow is putting all of the thoughts behind him and solely focusing on whatever it will take to bring another National Championship back to Clemson.
“So, South Carolina the next week, I really just locked in on whatever it takes to finish. I had a good game I feel like personally. Better than Duke, so I’ve learned from that and I feel like this game I’m just going to take it and whatever it takes, whatever gets it done, however much thought I have to put into it. I’m definitely going to enjoy the journey and look around but it’s going to be a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality.”