Clemson Football: Hunter Renfrow gears up to play giant killer once more

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Hunter Renfrow
GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Hunter Renfrow /

National Championship hopes are on the line between Clemson football and Alabama for the third straight season. Hunter Renfrow looks to gash the Tide secondary once again.

Despite walking on at Clemson as a two-star prospect, Hunter Renfrow has turned into one of the nation’s top wide receivers. The redshirt junior is now on scholarship and leads the Tigers in receptions with 55 on the year.

Over the past two seasons, Renfrow has been a thorn in Alabama’s side. In their past two contests combined, Renfrow has accumulated 17 receptions, 180 yards and four touchdowns. That includes his game-winning touchdown grab in last years National Championship.

David vs. Goliath

Nick Saban and his staff have dominated the recruiting circuit over the past decade. The Tide’s roster boasts a staggering 80 percent blue-chip ratio – which measures the percentage of four or five star prospects on a team’s roster. For measure, that’s three percent higher than Alabama’s 2015 National Championship roster.

It’s clear that Hunter Renfrow will face his fair share of talent. Alabama’s secondary ranks 7th in the country in passing defense, coming into the College Football Playoff. Led by junior corner back, Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Tide have allowed the least amount of passing touchdowns in the nation with just seven given up on the year.

Ironically, Fitzpatrick has been Renfrow’s primary defender over the past two seasons. A former five-star prospect with a long 6-foot-1 frame, Fitzpatrick is most receivers’ worst nightmare. Renfrow is the exception to that rule. Playing primarily in the slot, Renfrow’s precise route-running and elite agility make him difficult for any defensive back to cover.

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Renfrow’s consistency during his time at Clemson can be attributed in-part to the talent around him. Despite his effectiveness, Renfrow has never been the Tigers’ No. 1 wide receiver. As such, he normally faces the second or third best defensive back or linebacker on a defense. With his talent, that is a mismatch every single time.  We’ll see if Alabama changes their game-plan against Renfrow the third time around.