During Clemson’s National Championship Celebration on Saturday, Hunter Renfrow sent this message to his Clemson teammates and the nearly 50,000 fans at Death Valley.
“We’ve won two of the last three (national championships) so let’s go win three out of the next four,” he said.
That is easy for the senior wide receiver to say because he will be playing in the NFL next year. However, it was not just Renfrow that challenged next year’s squad, head coach Dabo Swinney did the same, telling them the program has won three of everything except a national championship.
But Saturday was not about next year’s squad, it was a celebration to honor this year’s national champions. The Tigers wrapped up the national championship this past Monday with a 44-16 victory over Alabama.
With the win, Clemson became the first 15-0 team in the modern era of college football.
“This is definitely special. Getting to the mountain top and just everything we worked so hard for, and not just these four years and this team this year, but we all worked so hard our whole lives to get to this point and it is great seeing it all come true and getting to that mountain top,” defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said. “But the thing is, it is really not about the mountain top moments, but it is really all about the journey. I could not ask for a better group of people to experience this with. This is just truly special.”
Renfrow said the Tigers had a successful year because they had general appreciation for each other’s role.
“I feel like that was on display against Syracuse when Chase (Brice) had to step in and dropped in a good ball to Tee (Higgins). I thought that was pretty cool,” he said.
Brice hit Higgins on a fourth-and-six play for 20 yards to keep the game-winning drive alive as the Tigers rallied to beat the Orange, 27-23, with a Travis Etienne touchdown run with 41 seconds to play. It was the last time anyone came close to beating the Tigers.
Clemson won its next 10 games by an average margin of 36.1 points and no team came closer than 20 points after that. The 28-point win over the Tide was the worst loss for Bama in the Nick Saban era.
“I am definitely blessed to be around such great teammates. They are really special,” Wilkins said. “We are just some raggedy old Tigers.”