Oakland Raiders’ Hunter Renfrow hosts inaugural youth football camp at Socastee High School
It didn’t take long for Raiders rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow to earn the respect of Oakland’s veteran safety Lamarcus Joyner.
Renfrow has been matched up against Joyner throughout Raiders training camp, and has won his fair share of reps against the former Florida State star, who helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl last season.
“It’s been friendly competition. He’s here because he’s a great route runner. He’s very smart and intelligent,” Joyner recently told reporters following a practice. “He’s going to get me ready for Sunday and I’m going to get him ready for Sunday. We’ve been competing that way.”
Renfrow, the former Clemson star, has been overlooked because of his appearance throughout his football career.
At 5-foot-10, 184 pounds, Renfrow doesn’t look like a guy who would be tough to cover. But just as he did at Clemson, the former walk-on just continues to get open in the NFL.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and defensive backs coach Jim O’Neil got on to Joyner early on in training camp after Renfrow kept beating the man who the Raiders signed to a four-year, $42 million deal this offseason.
“They came over and said, ‘Hey, we told you to mentor the guy, not get your butt kicked,’” Joyner recalled while laughing. “I said, ‘Whoa, whoa, slow your roll. You just opened up a can of worms there.’”
Renfrow has impressed Gruden enough to be listed as a starter in the slot on the Raiders first depth chart of the preseason.
The Raiders face the Rams in their first preseason game on Saturday.
“He can be a good punt returner. He can play in the slot. We’ve moved him around. He can go outside,” Gruden told reporters. “He’s quick. He’s fast. He’s got sure hands, and I’m glad we drafted him. That was a good pick.”
Joyner expects the success Renfrow has had in training camp to continue throughout the preseason and into the regular season as the fifth-round pick Renfrow just continues to surprise and make plays, as he did throughout his time in Clemson.
“If you can beat me then you can beat any nickel in this league. He’s been getting it done. I’ve been competing with him, and he’s going to be Sunday ready when it’s time to go,” Joyner said. “My mindset with him has been Sunday. It’s third down, game on the line. I have to approach it that way with him because he’s a great route runner.”