The Clemson Tigers became the only team to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide this season in the college football national championship game Monday night, and they have former 150-pound walk-on Hunter Renfrow to thank.
Renfrow was a high school quarterback who had coaches raving about his speed and smarts, but he was only 5’11” and 150 pounds when he showed up at Clemson as a preferred walk-on three years ago. Most of his other offers came from the FCS Southern Conference. The redshirt sophomore earned a scholarship last August, though, and then caught two touchdown passes in a losing cause in last year’s national championship game (also against Alabama). He got some revenge on the Tide by grabbing the winning touchdown pass to put Clemson up 35-31 with one second to go Monday:
Here’s a replay and breakdown of that play:
And here’s Joe Tessitore’s call of it on ESPN2:
That’s a well-drawn up route, with Renfrow utilizing the pick from his fellow receiver to great success. It was further evidence that he’s a guy who can compete at this level and perhaps the next level, too. He’s still only listed at 180 pounds, so he’s far from the biggest guy out there, but Tigers’ head coach Dabo Swinney said this week he feels Renfrow has great potential:
His head coach says he’ll play in the NFL in the mold of former New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker.
“I think he’s going to be a great NFL player someday. Eventually he’ll be a 300-pound lifter and (weigh) 188. He’s a baller. Football players come in all shapes and sizes. When you step on the field, it’s not always about how big you are,” Swinney said.
“When you meet Hunter, never in a million years would you pick him out” as a major-college football player, Swinney said. “He’s still weak comparatively, but he’s Hercules compared to when he got here. That strength has added confidence. He’s a very smart and savvy and influential player.”
He absolutely was influential Monday night.