NEW ORLEANS, LA (WSFA) - He's put up impressive numbers two of the previous times Clemson and Alabama met in the College Football Playoffs, but will the Tide defense finally have an answer for the Tigers' Hunter Renfrow?
Standing at 5 feet 10 inches, Renfrow has easily been a thorn in the Crimson Tide's side the previous two meetings, but head coach Nick Saban worded it a little differently.
"Hunter Renfrow is a pain in the you know what," Saban said when speaking to the media Saturday.
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney is glad to have Renfrow on his side.
"He means a lot to our program," said Swinney.
The previous two times Clemson and Alabama have played, the teams have split the overall result, but Renfrow has impressive numbers in both games. In the 2016 National Championship game, Renfrow caught seven passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns in that wild 45-40 Alabama win. In the 2017 National Championship Game, Renfrow tallied 10 catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown reception with one second to play.
"The guy's very instinctive, very quick, knows how to get open, makes the right decision," Saban said of Renfrow.
"He's really become a complete player as a receiver. He understands route running, he understands defense, he understands influence, he understands technique, and break points and how to set things up," Swinney said of his wide receiver.
So far this season the redshirt junior from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has posted 571 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 55 receptions.
"He's been a consistent and effective player for them," said Saban.
"He's got outstanding ball skills and he has this grit and will to get the ball, will to get the extra yard, will to get his job done," said Swinney. "That's what makes him special, that's what inspires his teammates and I think he epitomizes our program."
Alabama's defense ranks sixth in passing yards allowed with just 163.7 per game, one spot above Clemson. It will be a test to see how the Crimson Tide plays Renfrow come Monday night.
The 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl kicks off at 7:45 p.m. on ESPN.