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Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow clears up shot at Alabama

Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams’ post-game quote centered on Trevor Lawrence isn’t the only remark going viral this week in the aftermath of Clemson’s 44-16 win in Monday night’s national championship game.

Tigers senior wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has come under fire after comments made about Alabama’s total number of assistant coaches in a feature from Sports Illustrated.

“Coach Swinney has built it on fun and obviously Coach Saban has built it on a process,” Renfrow said. “I’m just so proud of being at a place like Clemson, where I feel like we’ve done it the right way. If we’re supposed to have only five guys on the field as coaches, we’re making sure we have five. We’re not doing it the wrong way and we’re having fun doing it.”

Renfrow’s “five guys on the field as coaches” line discreetly accuses Alabama of an NCAA violation, since there’s a mandate on the number of on-field coaches in games and practice programs may have. Some media members were interpreting Renfrow’s quote as an accusation, pointing at Alabama using analysts as on-field assistants.

After Renfrow’s remarks made the rounds on social media, he took to Twitter late Thursday to clear up any notion his comments were used to tweak the Crimson Tide, saying, “No disrespect to Alabama. I was just trying to applaud Coach Swinney for the way he runs things and doing it the right way. Quote totally taken out of context.”

Clemson and Alabama, having met four consecutive years in the Playoff and three times in the national championship game, are developing quite a rivalry nationally.

Renfrow, a former walk-on, was known as a Bama killer heading into Monday night’s game in Santa Clara, having caught 22 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns — including the game-winning score in the 2016 title game — against the Crimson Tide coming in.

He was held to two receptions for 10 yards this time around, letting Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins handle most of the heavy-lifting during Clemson’s dominance performance through the air. Lawrence finished with 347 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Tigers hand Nick Saban the most lopsided loss of his career with the Crimson Tide.

“I don’t think that we went into the game thinking we were going to beat Alabama by four touchdowns,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “It just kind of went that way. It was our night, and we got control of the game, and sometimes when — I’ve been on both sides of it. Sometimes when you get momentum rolling like we were able to get it and just the energy all channelled in the right direction, it can kind of be insurmountable, and that’s what happened last night. I mean, it was just kind of an overwhelming collective effort by our group.”

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