Rencher says ‘We’re kind of a step behind’ last year’s team

Rencher says ‘We’re kind of a step behind’ last year’s team

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Rencher says ‘We’re kind of a step behind’ last year’s team

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Darien Rencher spoke with the media following the first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday and was excited for his opportunity to help lead his running back group this fall. A local product out of T.L. Hanna High School, Rencher is looking to turn some heads this season at the running back position and push his teammates to be the best they can be.

Rencher on Saturday’s scrimmage

“I feel like it went good and the offense started out fast. We have a lot of talent on this team and that’s to be known. From the trenches, we got after it, we have a lot of veteran guys on the offensive line this year, and I think all the running backs showed that we can make plays. We have some big-time receivers and some quarterbacks that can put it on the money. I thought it went smooth, but we kind of got a little dead toward the middle, it got really hot and I feel like we could have responded better, but this team has all the ingredients to be special.”

Rencher on his performance during scrimmage

“I got an opportunity and at the same time you never get too high or too low. I feel like I got some decent runs and honestly, I knew I could run the ball, but one of the biggest things I’ve been working on in college is pass protection. I didn’t give up any sacks, I battled through, had a couple little injuries here and there throughout, but overall, I thought it was a good day. I’ll watch the film, see what I can learn from, and see what Coach (Tony) Elliott gets onto me about, but decent day.”

Rencher on what it’s like being in a running back room with so much talent

“You learn not to be entitled. Just over my last couple of years, I’ve learned to just maximize every opportunity I’m given, and that Coach (Dabo) Swinney has honored me with. It’s cool because people think you should go someplace where you shouldn’t, but at Clemson you have to compete for everything. Talented and young guys will come in like Chez (Mellusi) and Michel (Dukes) who are going to be two really incredible talents over the next few years and then you have Lyn-J (Dixon) and Travis (Etienne) who are two guys that are special talents. I think Travis is going down as one of the greats here, so for me it’s just awesome to be a part of.”

Rencher on Freshman Michel Dukes

“He’s a hooper. We argue who’s the best hooper in the room, but I think he’s got it right now. He’s super athletic, a little banged up right now, but you’ll see whenever he gets the opportunity, he’s flashy, can make some cuts, and is very explosive.”

Rencher on culture of this team

“We’ve talked about it a little bit as a team, but the analogy Coach Swinney used was baking a cake. Last year, the cake was already baked, and we were just kind of putting the icing on it and came into last season after losing to Alabama and everybody knew what was going to happen. We still had to play the season, but everybody knew how it was going to finish. We had no doubt that it was going to happen or how we were going to get there. We had some challenges along the way, but the story was kind of already written. This year is the same way, but just different. We have all the ingredients, but we are kind of a step behind, still putting everything in the pot. We know we have everything we need, but it’s not as for sure as last year going into the first week of camp, but we still have time.”

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