As the New England Patriots claimed the Super Bowl LIII win, former Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow was a hit on Twitter.
The New England Patriots won a sixth Super Bowl to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most wins in NFL history. The game itself was not a thriller by any means, in fact, only one touchdown was scored between the Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. Patriots running back Sony Michel scored a two-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter in an intense defensive battle. Michel’s touchdown was big, but the 5-foot-10 receiver Julian Edelman’s consistent play won him MVP honors.
Edelman, a former Kent State University quarterback, had 10 receptions and 141 yards from the slot, a position that has almost become synonymous with the Patriots since quarterback Tom Brady arrived in New England. Edelman followed in the footsteps of predecessors like Wes Welker and Miami Dolphins starter Danny Amendola who were both stars in the slot too.
Before the end of the low scoring 13-3 game, which set a Super Bowl game record low in combined points(16), I took to Twitter to see what fans were saying about the game action and to my surprise, I saw “Hunter Renfrow” trending.
My initial questions were, the norm for Twitter trending, what happened to Hunter Renfrow or what did he do?
The answers. Nothing. And nothing on Sunday night. But he won the 2018 Bulsworth(most outstanding FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on) and Bobby Bowden awards, and he is one of the most recognizable and successful college football players in the College Football Playoffs era.
So why was Clemson football’s “Hunter Renfrow” trending on Super Bowl Sunday?
Edelman’s MVP performance set in motion the Hunter Renfrow chatter. Tweets ranged from football fans suggesting Renfrow be Edelman’s future replacement to comparisons of the two clutch receivers.
Of course, we couldn’t reach President Carter for a comment on the above tweet and Renfrow never played for Danny Ford(1978-89). Also contrary to other reports, Renfrow, a fifth year redshirt senior, never looked Frank Howard(1940-1969) in the eye, either. He has, however, stared down many cornerbacks before making incredible catches in tight coverage look routine.
Renfrow, 5’11, 185 pounds, and Edelman are similar in stature, run crisp routes and make clutch catches on third downs, so the comparison comes natural to fans. Both were also lightly recruited by Power Five Schools and took alternate routes to college, Edelman via a Juco and Renfrow as a walk-on.
Conversely, their paths to the NFL will be different. Renfrow played in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and had a team leading five receptions, and 63 receiving yards(second on the team). He is also invited to the Feb. 26-March 4 NFL Combine. Edelman didn’t get either opportunity.
When watching either receiver on Saturday’s or Sunday’s and on the biggest stages like the National Championship or Super Bowl, fans see the same guy and appreciate his work ethic and perseverance.
Thus far, Edelman, a seventh round pick in the 2009 NFL draft, and Renfrow, twice named an All-ACC third teamer, have done well for themselves. Edelman stands today as a three-time Super Bowl champion and Renfrow a two-time National Champion and both should be an inspiration to one, two and no starred prep players across the nation.
As Edelman begins his MVP media tour and eventually prepares for season number 11, Renfrow, a projected late round pick, will continue to train for the combine and hope to hear his name in April’s draft. If Sunday night’s Twitter chatters have any say, then Renfrow will be in a Patriots uniform terrorizing defenses with Edelman in 2019 or without him in 2010. Edelman’s two-year contract ends next season.
Even on the night when Brady solidified himself as the “GOAT” and the New England Patriots reminded fans that their dynasty wasn’t over, “Hunter Renfrow,” who was never a high school All-American, never a college football All-American and never a first or second All-ACC team member, reminds us through Twitter that the kid from Socastee High and Clemson University is not just a walk-on and frankly, he never was.