Clemson’s Renfrow makes cover of Sports Illustrated

clemfoot-sicoverHunter Renfrow grew up a few blocks from the Pine Lakes International Country Club, where Sports Illustrated was founded. Little did he know when he was playing pick-up games in the neighborhood that he would someday grace the cover of the iconic magazine.

But when the Jan. 16 issue lands on news stands and in mailboxes across the country, the Socastee High product will be front and center. The image of Clemson’s No. 13 making the last-second, game-winning and national championship-clinching touchdown catch in a 35-31 victory Alabama is now captured for eternity on a spot reserved for sports’ brightest stars.

Ironically, it was 35 years ago today that Clemson football made its SI cover debut. That time it was wide receiver Perry Tuttle hoisting the football in the air when the Tigers defeated Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to claim their only other national title.

Clemson football made three more SI cover appearances during their recent surge, but the latest one is a landmark for the Tigers and the Grand Strand. Just as the program’s rise to the top is a tale of hard work and perseverance paying off, Renfrow’s story of an underdog overcoming the odds embodies the spirit of the 2016 Tigers.

At Socastee High, Renfrow was one of those rare athletes to earn the label of a “player” – a term used to describe one with such natural talent and ability that they make the game look easy. As an option quarterback, he ran circles around bigger defenders. He also played defensive back, punter, and kick returner – everything but lead the band at halftime.

But at 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, Renfrow was a football star in a chess club president’s body. He was highly recruited by smaller schools, and he could have chosen to play baseball at the college or pro level. But his dream was to play major college football, and Clemson agreed to make a “preferred walk-on” – a nice way of saying come earn your scholarship.

Renfrow quickly showed what he could do once he got his foot in the door. Surrounding by a five-star receiving corp and going up against blue-chip DBs who snickered at first when they looked at him across the line of scrimmage, Renfrow proved he belonged by taking his licks, running precision routes, and showing an incredible knack for catching everything thrown his direction.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney touched on Renfrow’s surprising success in the press conference after the national championship game. “I remember last year everybody was like ‘Why are we playing Hunter Renfrow?'” Swinney recalled. “Well, I’ve been to all the practices, and he is the best one out there.”

Like a true player, Renfrow has been at his best in the biggest games. His two touchdown catches in last year’s title game seemingly couldn’t be topped, but his clutch play in the sequel surpassed all expectations: 10 catches, 92 yards, two touchdowns receptions and a touchdown-saving tackle that forced the Tide to settle for a field goal and proved to be the difference in the final score.

Perhaps most impressive is the class Renfrow showed in both defeat and victory in those two games. His humility reflects well on his team, family, friends and hometown. It’s a performance well deserving a place of honor, and there are few honors in the world of sports than the cover of Sports Illustrated. Not bad for a little kid from Myrtle Beach.

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Comments

comments

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West Brunswick

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West BrunswickThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team made sure that [more]

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot InvitationalThe St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with [more]

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debut

Photos: No TDs but loads of fun at Panthers' debutA sellout crowd enjoyed the Carolina Panthers' 2017 home opener [more]

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt win

Lady Chants bounce back to claim first Sun Belt winCoastal Carolina women's soccer team got back in the win [more]

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee Invitational

Carolina Forest swimmers win Socastee InvitationalThe Carolina Forest swimming teams continued their successful seasons by [more]

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UAB

CCU's comeback bid falls short in road loss to UABCoastal Carolina scored 18 second-half points and only allowed 116 [more]

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSU

Chants open Sun Belt title defense with loss to GSUCoastal Carolina began defense of its 2016 Sun Belt Championship [more]

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of Socastee

NMB shows it's for 'Reel' with blowout of SocasteeIn a highly anticipated showdown between undefeated North Myrtle Beach [more]

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on Panthers

Seahawks' D bounces back by pouncing on PanthersWill the real Myrtle Beach High defense please stand up? [more]

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumbles

Sharks let one slip away as Bulldogs feast on fumblesOne week after pulling off an amazing comeback win, the [more]

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild win

Christian Academy works overtime to earn wild winOn a big Friday night for public school football on [more]

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SF

Volleyball: MB wins home debut; Panthers sweep SFThe Myrtle Beach High volleyball team finally got the opportunity [more]

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks

Golf: Panthers move to 4-0; Sharks roll past Seahawks Carolina Forest's Sami Spencer shot a career-best 3-under-par 33 to [more]

Lady Chiefs run away with big win over county rivals

Lady Chiefs run away with big win over county rivalsThe North Myrtle Beach High girls cross country team took [more]

Volleyball: Sharks prevail; Tomlin nets triple-double

Volleyball: Sharks prevail; Tomlin nets triple-doubleNo stranger to triple-doubles on the basketball court, Carolina Forest's [more]

Week 5 Previews & Picks: Local rivalries mark lineup

Week 5 Previews & Picks: Local rivalries mark lineupSo far WPDE TV and sister station CW 21's foray [more]

Saints volleyball gears up for another state title run

Saints volleyball gears up for another state title runFollowing a surprising run to the SCISA Class AA state [more]

Seahawks-Panthers game postponed to Friday night

Seahawks-Panthers game postponed to Friday nightThursday's televised contest between the Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest [more]

Coastal learns kickoff, TV times for next two games

Coastal learns kickoff, TV times for next two gamesThe Coastal Carolina Department of Athletics announced today its start [more]

CCU's Hardeman retains Sun Belt offensive honor

CCU's Hardeman retains Sun Belt offensive honorSenior outside hitter Leah Hardeman has been named the Sun [more]

Photo Gallery: Ideal starts for Braves, Chiefs, Tigers

Photo Gallery: Ideal starts for Braves, Chiefs, Tigers"Undefeated!" It's something not many high school football teams can [more]

Clemson defense comes to rescue in win over Auburn

Clemson defense comes to rescue in win over AuburnPowered by a defense that sacked Auburn’s quarterback 11 times, [more]

Gamecocks get big boost from Deebo to beat Tigers

Gamecocks get big boost from Deebo to beat TigersDeebo Samuel ran for two touchdowns to help South Carolina [more]

Chants forced to hit road, suffer loss to Highlanders

Chants forced to hit road, suffer loss to HighlandersCoastal Carolina’s soccer team lost a home game due to [more]

Illing's 5 TDs help Socastee flip the script on Seahawks

Illing's 5 TDs help Socastee flip the script on SeahawksIt's safe to say the Socastee Braves had this rivalry [more]

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West Brunswick

Lady Chiefs sweep season series vs. West BrunswickThe North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team made sure that [more]

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot Invitational

St. James takes runner-up at Lady Patriot InvitationalThe St. James High girls golf team went toe-to-toe with [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach