When he came into the NFL last season, Hunter Renfrow thought he knew a lot.
Why wouldn’t he? He played wide receiver at Clemson, which has produced more NFL wide receivers than any other college in the last 10 years.
While at Clemson, he played against the best of the best, too. Facing defensive secondaries from Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State, all schools known for producing high level defensive backs.
Then add on to the fact no one in the college game could run routes and get open better than Renfrow. He is a tactician at his craft. He knows what he is doing better than anyone else.
Or so he thought.
“I thought I knew some things, but I don’t know anything,” Renfrow said Monday on the Colin Cowherd Show on Fox Sports One. “The NFL game is so different than the college game.”
Renfrow was asked if there were two things he could tell this year’s rookie wide receivers’ class, which will include former Clemson teammate Tee Higgins, what would they be.
“Sit back and just kind of take it all in. Just learn and be a sponge and learn as much as possible,” he said. “Be patient. In college, you try to rush. In the NFL you have to be patient with guys. You have to let things develop because coverages change so often and so late in the play.”
The former Clemson standout used his patience to have a good rookie season. By mid-season he started producing a lot for the Raiders. He finished his rookie campaign with 49 catches for 605 yards and four touchdowns, including a 65-yard catch-and-run against the Chargers that opened everyone’s eyes on what kind of talent Renfrow can be in the league.
Renfrow averaged 12.3 yards per catch as a rookie in 2019.
“In college, you have a one-high or two-high shell and, basically, it stays that way or at the start of the snap it bends. In the NFL, it might look like it, and then it will change and then it will change again,” he said. “So, you have to always have those big eyes to be able to see the field and then when the ball is thrown you get those small eyes and catch it.”
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