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Hunter Renfrow Reflects on NFL, Life Experiences

Former Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow talks about adjusting to losing, fighting for his role, connection with his quarterback and being a new dad during a recent Las Vegas Raiders press conference.

Hunter Renfrow isn't the new kid on the block looking to just find a role.

The former Clemson receiver who caught arguably the most legendary pass in Tiger history in the 2016 national championship game win over Alabama is heading into his third season with the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Renfrow has seen his life and his job change over the course of the last year, and he met with Raiders media Monday at the team's training camp to discuss his outlook on this team and what's happening off the field during a live press conference. 

The two-time national champion receiver, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, lost just four games during his Clemson career. The Raiders, however, had lost 17 times in the last two seasons, something Renfrow has had to get used to as a pro.

"Losing sucks. I think we all have felt the pride of what's to come," said Renfrow, who has 105 receptions for 1,261 yards and six touchdowns in the NFL. "We've had bad years in college and we were so close. I think we've felt that the last two years and we've really put everything into this year. We feel like we're on the cusp of it. You can see little things along the way that we're taking more pride in. It's really good to see." 

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Despite Renfrow being one of the primary slot weapons, the Raiders went out and added six-year veteran Willie Snead IV in the offseason. While his addition will push Renfrow for playing time, Renfrow has taken the approach to learn from Snead, who's greatly helped Renfrow with how to read coverages, especially pre-snap, better. 

"Whatever makes the team better. As I go through the NFL and life, you can't cheer for people to do bad," Renfrow said. "You've got to hope that they help the team, I help the team and it all works out. You don't want to get to the end of this thing and say, 'I was a grouch the whole time.' It doesn't matter if I have 100 yards or 10 yards as long as we win, that's the end goal. It doesn't matter how it gets done." 

Renfrow does have a big leg up on Snead in one department: relationship with the quarterback. Renfrow and starter Derek Carr have a chemistry that recently showed during a training camp play where Carr gave Renfrow a look, and the receiver quickly went the other way and found a pass right in his hands.

"I think that comes from a lot of backyard football," Renfrow said. "We're out there having fun. You can take the game too seriously, try to do everything right and try to overthink it, but the joy of playing the game is what's important. How he sees the game and how I see the game is similar. It's a lot of fun being able to see the game like him." 

Another big change for Renfrow has come at home, where he and his wife Camilla had a daughter, their first child, earlier this year. Renfrow said he doesn't have as much time for video games with his teammates as before, but being a dad has given him the freedom to not put so much pressure on himself as a football player.

"I'm able to go home and thankfully get a good perspective of life," Renfrow said. "I think that's what's important. Whatever happens on the field happens on the field. We care about our jobs and we love it and we're passionate about it, but at the end, being with her and loving on her and loving my wife, that's what's really important." 

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