Hunter Renfrow: Clemson’s Beloved ‘Little Man’ About to ‘Come Up’ Really BIG

John Gruden, former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, has his obvious human flaws but he also has a gift, a silver touch.

That gift was front and center in the 2019 NFL Draft. It started with controversy with the pick of Clelin Ferrell at No. 4. The expert draft analysts were skeptical and that’s putting it mildly. The Raiders fans were asking, “who the heck is Clelin Ferrell and why did was he drafted so high”

The fifth round would further prove Gruden’s brilliance, even if no one else could or would see it. On day three, with the 149th overall pick, Gruden and the Raiders picked WR Hunter Renfrow. The Clemson cult hero and walk-on giant killer.

Like Ferrell, not all were very familiar with Renfrow, but they’d soon get to know him in a big way. He proves his worth every game day. It’s safe to say, financially, he’s a bargain. While others were filling their ranks with “big names,” Gruden took to mining for treasure and struck pure sterling silver in drafting Renfrow.

After his rookie contract, which is almost up, he will get a well earned and much deserved pay increase. Contract negotiations are driven by fair market value. Renfrow’s market value as of today is $17,000,000 annually according to Sportrac.

His base contract today would be a five year deal worth a whopping, $87,975,960 if the Raiders decided to re-sign Renfrow and why wouldn’t they? Few deserve it more than the quiet, humble, unassuming yet supremely confident Renfrow.

While he certainly won’t turn it down when contract negotiations begin in earnest, I suspect and those close to him know it’s the joy of playing that drives the consummate underdog.

I’m a self proclaimed wordsmith, I love words. However, I struggle to find the perfect words to actually describe this young man, one of Clemson’s finest, one of its favorite sons.

Renfrow, an Economics Major at Clemson, I imagine has already run the numbers himself and knows this will be life changing wealth. Other than myself, I couldn’t wish it for anyone more deserving than No. 13.

Funny, without the benefit of this information, by sheer happenstance, I re-watched the video where Dabo Swinney gave Renfrow his scholarship. Everyone in that room cheered their delight, showing their respect for and their belief in this young man, their brother.

His underwhelming physical attributes are greatly overshadowed by his pure talent and big heart. I remember thinking, at the time, how easy it was to love this unpretentious young man. He would play a huge part in taking Clemson to the top of the mountain.

He again proves those that dare underestimate him wrong, as he’s headed to his first Pro Bowl. I’m sure he will shine in a way that only he can and will continue to grow the Legend of Hunter Renfrow.

Call me a dreamer but I believe one day the name Hunter Renfrow will be included on Clemson’s Ring of Honor. I’ve already picked the place for it, on field level, on the bottom ring of the stadium, perfectly positioned on the 13- yard line. Don’t worry, It won’t stay on the bottom for long. In time, like the man, his name will somehow work his way to the top, reluctantly, to be seen by the world.

It’s a great story. The one where a walk-on defies the odds by getting on scholarship, then plays at the highest level of college football, becomes a national champion yet still remains humble.

Who will ever forget that night in Tampa where he and his brothers changed Clemson’s world, forever? It seems appropriate that now, he gets a chance to change his world by getting paid his worth. In the clip below, listen to the words of ESPN announcer, Chris Fowler, as he calls the last play “Little Man comes up Big”and this time it’s for himself.

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