There were plenty of standout performers to choose from for the Clemson Tigers last night as they upset the seemingly unbeatable Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31 to win their first national title since 1981; only the second football national title in school history. While Deshaun Watson’s performance will be the most talked about, a close runner-up is the man who caught the game-winning touchdown from Watson: wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow hauled in 10 passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns against the Tide, wreaking havoc all night.
That’s an amazing stat line, made even more incredible by the fact that Renfrow wasn’t even on scholarship with the Tigers until just before last season. That’s not to say Renfrow wasn’t at the school, he was, but he began his career with Clemson as a walk-on. In August of 2015, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made the announcement to the team that Renfrow would be receiving a scholarship, and the whole moment was caught on video.
Renfrow has certainly proven worthy of that scholarship, racking up 77 catches for 987 yards and 11 touchdowns in the past two seasons. He has shone particularly bright in Clemson’s two national title game appearances, posting a combined 17 receptions for 180 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama in those two games.
Renfrow was lightly recruited out of high school, receiving just one FBS offer (Appalachian State) according to 247 Sports. He played mostly as a quarterback in high school, but has seamlessly made the transition to receiver in college. I’m willing to bet that his head coach is pretty happy with the decision to give the young man a scholarship prior to last season.