Hunter Renfrow has a remarkable story.
As a little-known player from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Renfrow walked on to Clemson’s football team in 2014. At first glance, his teammates must’ve thought Renfrow would’ve been lucky to last a week. But the underdog soon earned himself a scholarship, and he’s now regarded as one of the greatest receivers in school history.
A recent NFL.com story by Chase Goodbread revealed just how far Renfrow’s come since he first arrived on campus.
A triple-option quarterback during high school, Renfrow came to Clemson weighing a whispy 153 pounds. His Bench Press max was a mere 135 pounds. During his very first practice, he dropped the first five passes thrown his way.
Nevertheless, Renfrow persisted. He would go on to become one of Clemson’s best scout team players that fall. When he arrived at spring ball in 2015 with an additional 12 pounds on his still-scrawny frame, Renfrow was a tough cover for even the team’s most highly touted defensive backs. Despite his unassuming appearance, his agility and route-running skills were legit.
The coaching staff decided to award Renfrow a scholarship shortly before the 2015 season. “Hunter’s a great example of don’t judge a book by its cover, right?” head coach Dabo Swinney said to the team as he announced Renfrow would be put on scholarship. “Because he damned sure doesn’t look like a football player—I’m just telling it like it is. But this old boy can ball.”
Renfrow would go on to collect 33 receptions, 492 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his redshirt freshman season. Each of those numbers would increase the next season, but it was the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship against Alabama where Renfrow would cement his legacy in Clemson lore. The undersized slot man baffled Crimson Tide defenders, totaling 10 receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with one second remaining.
Now a redshirt senior, Renfrow is listed at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds. He can Bench Press 225 for five reps, which equates to a 257-pound one-rep max. He’s caught passes in 41-consecutive games, which is a new school record. And with the College Football Playoff looming, he could be poised to make an impact on on the big stage once again.
Renfrow is currently rated as a top-10 receiver prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft by DraftScout.com. For a kid who walked on at Clemson with little more than a blue-collar mentality and some impressive agility, it’s been a remarkable rise.
“(Coming in as a walk-on, I told myself) I’ll have to earn it. Nothing’s given. I’ll just have to go earn it every day. And I’ve kinda kept that mentality with me over the years,” Renfrow recently told the Move the Sticks podcast.