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

Mutiny shuts out Eagles, leapfrogs into first place

Mutiny shuts out Eagles, leapfrogs into first placeThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny scored their fourth straight win and [more]

Pelicans snap losing streak via Alzolay's pitching gem

Pelicans snap losing streak via Alzolay's pitching gemMyrtle Beach snapped their three-game losing skid behind a terrific [more]

Florida ends Coastal's reign as CWS national champions

Florida ends Coastal's reign as CWS national championsIt's official: The Coastal Carolina University baseball team is no [more]

Newton tests throwing arm for first time since surgery

Newton tests throwing arm for first time since surgeryThey say you can't keep a good man down, especially [more]

Pelicans' comeback effort falls short against P-Nats

Pelicans' comeback effort falls short against P-NatsA late Myrtle Beach rally Monday came up just short [more]

MB's Grigg, SJ's Knaffle go low to earn PGA Junior bid

MB's Grigg, SJ's Knaffle go low to earn PGA Junior bidGrand Strand golfers made strong showings at the Carolina PGA [more]

Pelicans come out on bad end of tight pitchers' duel

Pelicans come out on bad end of tight pitchers' duelMyrtle Beach was unable to get the offense going in [more]

MB's Hardin helps propel South to all-star game win

MB's Hardin helps propel South to all-star game winMyrtle Beach High graduate Hunter Hardin got to play one [more]

Cubs' World Series victory meant the world to 'Hawk'

Cubs' World Series victory meant the world to 'Hawk'Andre Dawson may be a Hall of Famer and a [more]

Mutiny downs Dynamos, vaults into first-place tie

Mutiny downs Dynamos, vaults into first-place tieThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny defeated the Carolina Dynamos 4-3 on [more]

Socastee's Cudd among six signees in Gamecocks' class

Socastee's Cudd among six signees in Gamecocks' classSouth Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin announced a signing [more]

Pelicans 'Hatch' second half with win over Woods Ducks

Pelicans 'Hatch' second half with win over Woods DucksThomas Hatch yielded just an unearned run over seven innings [more]

Mutiny heats up in second half to beat Hammerheads

Mutiny heats up in second half to beat HammerheadsThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny handled the rainy conditions and the [more]

The Hawk, Trophy kick off Pelicans' Cubs-A-Palooza

The Hawk, Trophy kick off Pelicans' Cubs-A-PaloozaThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome the Chicago Cubs' 2016 [more]

MB all-star Jimenez puts on lights-out show in HR derby

MB all-star Jimenez puts on lights-out show in HR derbyThe phrase "light-tower power" is thrown around often for power [more]

Tar Heels offer MB's Doty; Tigers' Moody picks ECU

Tar Heels offer MB's Doty; Tigers' Moody picks ECUMyrtle Beach High quarterback Luke Doty hasn't started his first [more]

CAC swimmers face tough competition at Titan meet

CAC swimmers face tough competition at Titan meetTriangle Aquatic Club hosted the TAC Titans TYR Triangle Classic [more]

First-half champ Pelicans ride hot streak into break

First-half champ Pelicans ride hot streak into breakBoth Jesse Hodges and Eloy Jimenez homered Sunday as the [more]

Mutiny nets first home win in rout of North Carolina FC

Mutiny nets first home win in rout of North Carolina FCThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny captured their first win at their [more]

Conway's Carter captures victory at Firefighters 5K

Conway's Carter captures victory at Firefighters 5KMore than 80 participants traveled from nine different states to [more]

Pelicans rally in 10th inning to knock out Wood Ducks

Pelicans rally in 10th inning to knock out Wood DucksA frantic Myrtle Beach rally in the 10th helped the [more]

Pelicans put pitcher Araujo on All-Star Classic roster

Pelicans put pitcher Araujo on All-Star Classic rosterRight-handed pitcher Pedro Araujo has been selected to represent the [more]

Mutiny duels Tormenta FC to tie, plays again Sunday

Mutiny duels Tormenta FC to tie, plays again SundayThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny are still looking for their first [more]

Wood Ducks turn tables on Pelicans in shutout victory

Wood Ducks turn tables on Pelicans in shutout victoryThe Down East Wood Ducks turned the tables on the [more]

Pelicans pitch club record third consecutive shutout

Pelicans pitch club record third consecutive shutoutJustin Steele fired five scoreless innings, and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Mutiny shuts out Eagles, leapfrogs into first place

Mutiny shuts out Eagles, leapfrogs into first placeThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny scored their fourth straight win and [more]

Pelicans snap losing streak via Alzolay's pitching gem

Pelicans snap losing streak via Alzolay's pitching gemMyrtle Beach snapped their three-game losing skid behind a terrific [more]

Comments are closed.

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