A guy that will draw closer looks this draft season is Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. Glancing at his 5'10 build, especially in pads and wearing the number 13, you'd have flashbacks of a college version of Bucs' wide receiver Adam Humphries that would warrant a double take. Which is exactly what I found myself doing last week in Mobile, Ala.
During practice at the Senior Bowl, Renfrow's routes were crisp, just like Humphries. He knew exactly where he was going and where he needed to be, just like Humphries. And Renfrow was super physical, fighting for yards after contact even with his smaller frame, just like Humphries.
He even went back to field punts, just like Humphries.
All those similarities and come to find out, the two are actually extremely close friends, because of course they are.
"I signed with his agent and we play golf a good bit," Renfrow said smiling at the Senior Bowl when talking about his relationship with Humphries. "I'm training for the combine in the same place he comes back and trains in the offseason. That's one of my good friends."
Humphries said he introduced Renfrow to his agent because he felt that his agent could help him the same way he helped Humphries – although Renfrow already has a leg up. Humphries entered the league undrafted and ended up winning a spot on the Bucs' training camp roster after an offseason tryout. He built his way up from there. Renfrow, conversely, has already garnered attention, thanks in part to being a part of not one but two national championship teams at Clemson and earning invites to both the Senior Bowl and the upcoming NFL Combine.
"He's definitely had a more prolific career," Humphries says of Renfrow, sounding like a proud older brother. "He went to the Senior Bowl, he's going to the combine. Those things are good for exposure. Plus, he made big plays in big games, which separates him."
Some of those big plays? Two of then-quarterback Deshaun Watson's touchdown passes in the 2015 National Championship went to redshirt freshman Hunter Renfrow, for starters. Though Clemson didn't win that year, the next year saw a rematch between the Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide, where Renfrow scored the final go-ahead touchdown to secure the 2016 National Championship for Clemson with one second left. One. Second. Left. That's about as memorable as they come.
"Yeah, he can play, man," Humphries said.
Talking to Renfrow is another story and you'd never know he's played the college football hero on the national stage like that. His unassuming nature goes beyond his physical stature. You would think he's the same sort of longshot Humphries was, instead of one of the most well-known receivers in the 2019 draft class. Still, Renfrow knows he has a lot to learn and has an asset in Humphries that many don't.
"It's really just leaning on him and asking him about the whole process because I mean, he started at the bottom of the bottom with a tryout so I kind of lean on him for advice," Renfrow said.
That advice apparently also comes in the form of imitation.
"He sent me a snap of himself the other day decked out in adidas stuff," Humphries, who has a contract with the clothing brand, laughed. "I'm like, now he's wearing the same stuff as me, too?"
"Three-stripe life," said Renfrow.
Hey, they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Renfrow will follow a similar mentality that Humphries has had throughout his career, emphasizing team wins rather than personal gain. They really both are the epitome of team players, and it shows.
"I didn't really care about a scholarship," Renfrow said about getting to Clemson. "I just wanted to go out there and contribute and be the reason that we won games. That's kind of my plan for the NFL is to get on a team and be the reason why you win. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how many stats you have, how many catches, if you win games, that's what matters."
Humphries isn't worried about the NFL adjustment for Renfrow, either. He fully embraces the role he's found himself playing as Renfrow goes to enter the league. Talent-wise, coming from a big-time program, Renfrow is already used to facing challenging opponents and has a firmer grasp on what the next level is like from a physical standpoint probably more than most. Humphries sees his role as more just preparing Renfrow mentally for the most grown-up aspects of the game.
"He's gone up against best of the best, so he'll be fine in that regard," Humphries said. "It's more the mental game. Football is your job now, so I'll try to help him out with that. But he's a smart dude."
This draft season, both will be in South Carolina training for next season – and playing a good amount of golf in between. Humphries estimates they'll play about two to three times a week as a way to relax from a rigorous training schedule. But with a handicap of eight and Renfrow not being able to hone his golf game as of late, Humphries in turn, may have the leg up there.
View photos of the 2019 Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Pictures by AP Images.