Disney announced today that Clemson running back Darien Rencher has been named the 2020 recipient of the Disney Spirit Award, presented annually to college football’s most inspirational player, coach, team or figure. Head Coach Dabo Swinney surprised Rencher with the honor prior to practice Monday night.
Rencher, who overcame knee injuries at nearby T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C. to walk-on and eventually earn a scholarship at Clemson, becomes the first Clemson player to win the award since its inception in 1996 and the first ACC member to win it since Pitt’s James Conner in 2016 following Conner’s return to football after beating Hodgkin lymphoma.
Rencher has been a staple in the Upstate South Carolina community, serving as a frequent community servant and public speaker. This past offseason, he helped organize the Clemson Community Peaceful Demonstration and helped mobilize players nationwide to rally in support of playing safely during the pandemic.